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News Room - WIPNET EVENTS

Date: April 5th – 6th, 2011

Location: Benin City, Edo State

Background :

The Women in Peacebuilding Program, WIPNET of WANEP-Nigeria currently serves as a veritable platform that promotes the positive roles women play in peace and security in Nigeria. Different trainings and capacity building organised by WIPNET in previous projets have led to the raising of a critical mass of women in the six geo-political zones who have been strengthened on peacebuilding approaches to engendered development.

The current project titled “Strengthening Women Social Networking for Effective Participation in Peace and Human Security in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria” commenced with a two-day Consultative Meeting on the project with Stakeholders which comprised of State Actors from the State Ministries of Women Affairs in the pilot states of the Niger Delta region (Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom,Cross Rivers and Imo state), Representatives from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the Niger Delta, Representative from the Delta State Oil Producing Communities (DESOPADEC) and non State Actors from different commuinties based and Non governmental Organizations working in the Niger Delta region.

The consultative meeting is the first crucial step towards the success of the project structured to last three years (2011-2013). The meeting discussed the overall framework of the project and criteria for the selection of pilot communities that will benefit from the project in the region.

Objectives/ Program content:

The meeting started with the opening session: welcome address by the Program Manager of WANEP Nigeria, Bridget Osakwe, and good will message from the National Network Coordinator of WANEP Nigeria, Ifeanyi Okechukwu.

The First Working session started with a presentation of the WIPNET Project in Nigeria for the years 2011-2013 by the Program Manager. The aim of the meeting is to consult with experts on peculiarities and what is workable in the Niger Delta region. The project targets organized platforms of women at local communities otherwise referred to as social

networking groups that can be used as veritable platforms and included in the transformation process for gender balanced peace and human security in the Niger Delta. The project will focus on communities where WIPNET had worked in the past to strengthen and give confidence building such as in Gbaramatu in Delta state and Cross Rivers state and run trainings on peacebuilding for selected new communities in Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Imo states.

The objectives of the Consultative Meeting are as follows:

  • To involve women in decision making
  • To work with men in peace process
  • To create platforms for rural women in engagement in peace issues
  • To engage with policy makers on women, peace and security issues


The second session which was a paper presentation titled “Reflections on the gender dimension of the crises in the Niger Delta region” was presented by the National Network Coordinator of WANEP Nigeria, Ifeanyi Okechukwu. The paper highlights the various forms brutality, discrimination, inequality, exclusion and violence perpetrated on women. The case of the Niger Delta women is pathetic because they are the poorest in the world as a result of production of oil which brought about environmental degradation, poverty and subsequent crises.

The paper further captured the situation of the Niger Delta women by quoting Ololade (2009) “Niger Delta women perform certain economic responsibilities within the families as wives, mothers, farmers and breadwinners. They are the principal care givers of the children and the aged. Even though they are food producers, harvesters and cooks, they are also expected to function as wage earners”.

The paper further states that Crude oil provides 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings , yet the people of Niger Delta especially the women are the poorest in Nigeria, their farmlands have been taken from in which they are the main farmers, their lands have been used for laying oil pipelines which criss-cross the land and contaminate it.

Outcome: The stakeholders at the consultative meeting through a group task came up with criteria and selection of communities that will benefit from the project. They were given a guide in drawing the criteria. The guide include:

  • Guide for Mapping Priority Communities for interventions
  • Frequency of conflicts in Identified Communities.
  • Level of impact of conflict on women in those communities
  • Levels of relationships and networking amongst the women in those communities
  • Actions taken by State and Non State Actors in addressing women peace and security in those communities
  • List proposed actions if any by state and non state in addressing women, peace and security.


The meeting also generated the criteria for participating communities which are:

  • Communities which have been affected by violence in the past
  • Communities with potentials for conflict
  • Communities with organized women groups and
  • Communities where women are already participating in the peace process.


From the guides and criteria selected, the consultative meeting selected two communities per state in the Niger Delta region which will benefit from the project. The chosen communities are :

  • Ikot Ekpene and Oku Ibotu - Akwa Ibom State
  • New Bakassi and Obom Itiat- Cross Rivers State
  • Akoko- Edo and Gelegele- Edo State
  • Gbaramatu and Ugborodo – Delta State
  • Biseni and Ezetu- Bayelsa state
  • k-Dere/B-Dere and Rumuekpe- Rivers state
  • Egbema and Ohaji – Imo state


The meeting also produced a force field analysis of Needs and Opportunities that can be found in the Niger Delta region. It also generated topics for trainings on confidence building for areas where WIPNET had given trainings on peacebuilding in the past project and peacebuilding trainings for selected  new commuinities in the project and resource persons assigned to the topics based on the skills and capacities of the stakeholders at the consultative meeting.

Conclusions/Recommendations

There is need to build more relationships with the State Actors of the Niger Delta region with close monitoring and follow-ups by participating stakeholders in the states
The need to select women who are Opinion Leaders, women with functional literacy, fluent in the local language, capacity to transfer skills, resident in the communities as the beneficiaries in the next Training of Trainers so as to enable the transfer of the accquired skills in the replication trainings at the communities.

Follow Up Activities

The first Training of Trainers will be taking place in Calabar, Cross Rivers State from April 18 to 21st, 2011.

 

WIPNET Events

Activity Report of WIPNET Members in Akwa Ibom State A.K.A Iban Emem (Women of Peace)

 

Activity Report of WIPNET Members in Akwa Ibom State A.K.A

Iban Emem (Women of Peace)

Advocacy Visits to Paramount Rulers of of Ikot Ekpene and Itu Local Government Areas.

The Women in Peacebuilding Program, WIPNET, of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, WANEP was established in the year 2003 with the broad goal to elevate women from their state of obscurity to the fore to enable them play key roles alongside men in building peace. This was based on the realization that ‘gender and peacebuilding’ did not adequately respond to the existing gap between men and women and that men and women cannot attain equal opportunities espoused in the gender equality definition if women are absent from the scene altogether.

In line with WIPNET’s goal of building women’s capacity to play active and visible roles in peace-building in Nigeria, the current project “Sustaining Women Social Networking for Effective Participation in Peace Processes in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria is geared towards training and mobilizing platform for women groups and relevant agencies for policy engagement and sustainable peacebuilding interventions; conflict prevention and peace advocacy in the states of the Niger Delta. It is a three year project that spans 2011-2013. Two communities were selected in each of the Niger Delta States with the Training of women Leaders otherwise referred as TOT and with the mandate to replicate these trainings to twenty five women in each community for replications and mentoring.

As a sequel to the replication trainings carried out in Ikot Ekpene and Itu Local Government Areas, the women leaders carried out advocacy visits to the paramount rulers of these Local Government Areas in order to facilitate women’s participation in peace processes and leadership at the community levels. The group met with His Royal Majesty (HRM) Augustine E.J. Assiak and His Royal Majesty (HRM) Edidem Edet Akpan Inyang and their council of chiefs to introduce WANEP/WIPNET to them in the communities and Akwa Ibom State at large.

The team leader of the group, Mrs Regina Fabaian, briefed the council members on the Vision, Mission and Objectives of WANEP, she also presented some WANEP/WIPNET Publications to the council members. They in turn expressed their joy at the women’s willingness to work with traditional institutions in fostering peace and development in the community.

The Iban Emem group which also comprised of Mrs Helen Amos, Evang Stella Umo, Mrs Rosemary Akpabio and the WIPNET Focal Person for the South South Zone Ms. Ann Uduka visited Ibiono Ibom NCWS to celebrate the 2012 International Women’s Day.

As measures of strengthening the association, members of Iban Emem (Women of Peace) in Akwa Ibom State have agreed to have a uniform, open a bank account and register as a cooperative society. The group is also planning for a peace march in a selected community on the International Peace Day slated for September 21, 2012.

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