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WEP’s EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RECEIVES ANOTHER AWARD AT THE HIGH LEVEL SYMPOSIUM ON SDG 6

 

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The Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme (WEP), Priscilla Achakpa, has received another award in addition to her catalogues of awards.

This award was presented to her during the High Level Symposium on SDG 6 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which held from 9th – 11th August, 2016. Over a thousand people including government officials, water policy experts, businesses, and civil society representatives gathered to discuss how to implement SDG 6.

This award is in recognition of her laudable contributions at national, regional and global levels to ensuring that no one is left behind in access to water and sanitation.

Priscilla Achakpa

Priscilla Achakpa is an Ashoka Fellow, and currently the National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Nigeria; and the Regional Focal Point, West and Central Africa for GEF-CSOs Network.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: CONSULTANT TO DEVELOP A TRAINING MANUAL FOR THE TRAINING OF BORDER OFFICIALS ON GENDER AND BORDER MANAGEMENT

ORGANISATIONAL BACKGORUND

WEP is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-religious and voluntary organization whose vision is to ensure a society where the environmental, economic and political rights of women, children and youths are protected. Our mission is to empower women and youths to effectively address the environmental, economic and political issues that affect them. WEP has United Nations ECOSOC Special Status, Observer Status to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). With the Observer Status, WEP can participate as a major group organization in contributing to the intergovernmental decision making process in the UN-System.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Small-Scale Cross-Border Trade (SSCBT) is often neglected in the discussions on African trade policies, although remains an imperative to local economic growth.  The operation of small scale trade cross border trade within the Sub-African region has been timeless sustaining economic resilience of many households.  In a context of feminisation of economic opportunities, SSCBT is often considered as offering employment and income opportunities to women traders. Therefore, SSCBT plays a vital role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 2 and 5) although still limited, increasing attention is being paid by policy makers to this sector. Despite the seeming importance of these activities to regional trade, national economic development, poverty alleviation, the organization of regional markets and regional integration it remains a significantly under-represented in the development discourse.

As this backdrop, WEP under the project Promoting Women’s Socio-economic Rights (POSER), funded by African Women Development Fund to mainstream gender issues in institutional policies of border agencies. Integrating a gender perspective into the work of state institutions responsible for border management can have a significant impact on the ability of border officers to recognize and respond to the different needs and vulnerabilities of women small scale traders. It can also help them to learn from the experiences and insights of members of border communities. This contributes to more effective trade facilitation process while complying with human rights standards. Advancing gender equality through the work of the border security sector is part of the responsibility of governments to protect and promote the rights of all, in accordance with commitments made at national and international levels.

In order to achieve the aforementioned, WEP seeks to engage a consultant to produce training manual  to support capacity building of border agencies to develop plans and strategies to integrate gender in their procedures and practices. The manual is expected to provide guideline to raise the consciousness of border officials to domesticate regional policies into their strategies and operations. We believe if the border officials have the right mind-set and training, women small scale traders will have an enabling environment to conduct their business in an atmosphere devoid of violence and intimidation.

EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATION:

Education

  • Masters’ Degree in any management and social science field.

Experience

  • At least 5 years of working and research experience in trade including those of customs administration and other border agencies as well as the private sector.
  • Excellent experience in economic empowerment issues, including working with financial institutions. Proven experience in gender analysis and women’s empowerment.

APPLICATION INFORMATION:

Interested applicants should send their applications indicating clearly in the subject line of the email the position being applied for (in Caps E.g. CONSULTANT FOR DEVELOPMENT OF TRAINING MANUAL) to: wep2002@hotmail.com or info@wepnigeria.net.

All applications should be sent in on or before June 14th, 2020.

Applications should include the following:

  • As part of the application package, submit a proposed training manual outline to info@wepnigeria.net or wep2002@hotmail.com
  • At least two references.

Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

WEP COMMEMORATES WORLD BEE DAY 2020

Today we join the global community to celebrate the World Bee Day. Bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat, but unfortunately, bees are under serious threat due to human activities. Most crops grown for their fruits (including vegetables such as squash, cucumber, tomato and eggplant), nuts, seeds, fibre and hay require pollination by insects. Pollinating insects also play a critical role in maintaining natural plant communities and ensuring production of seeds in most flowering plants.

Pollination is the transfer of pollen, containing the male gamete of a plant, from the anthers where it is produced to the receptive stigma, the female part of the same or another plant of the same species. This process results in fertilisation, and sexual reproduction of the plant to produce seeds. The main insect pollinators, by far, are bees, and while honey bees are the best known and widely managed pollinators, there are also hundreds of other species of bees, mostly solitary ground nesting species, that contribute some level of pollination services to crops and are very important in natural plant communities.

Bees are very beneficial, therefore there is every need to protect bees and provide support for beekeepers.

Breaking gender inequalities

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Women Environmental Programme (WEP) on Wednesday, 11th March 2020 organized a programme themed: “Breaking Gender Inequalities,” to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD). The programme held at WEP’s head office at Block E Flat 2 Anambra Court, Gaduwa Estate, Abuja.

This year’s International Women’s Day has a theme: “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future,” which calls for equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and violence against women and girls, health care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life and in decision-making in all areas of life.

The programme, “Breaking Gender Inequalities” was a forum deliberately designed by WEP to change mindsets of participants, share experiences, facilitate learning and unlearning, and to inspire participants to gender-sensitive actions.

To set the right tone, the event was heralded by the Women’s Anthem that was passionately sang by the participants:

“All across the nations

All around the world

Women are longing to be free

No longer in the shadows

Forced to stay behind

But side by side

In true equality

 

(Refrain)

So sing a song (2x)

For women everywhere

Let it ring around the world

And never ever cease

 

So sing a song for women everywhere

Equality, development and peace…”

After the Women’s Anthem, WEP Team was set to break gender inequalities held as beliefs, values, norms and ideas by some participants.  Breaking gender inequalities was done by interrogating the beliefs, values, norms and ideas of participants by posing some questions or statements that required yes or no as the answer and further justification of the answer. This triggered debate and analysis among participants as they justified their answers. For every question or statement, after the debate from the participants, WEP team lent their voice to point participants to answers that were more gender sensitive.

Some of the questions or statements made were:

  • It is important to train a girlchild to be a good wife
  • Women are not many in public leadership positions because they don’t come out to take their place
  • Men have the ultimate authority to decide whether women access political leadership positions or not.

From the discussions that ensued trying to justify their positions on a statement or question, it was clear to WEP team if participants were gender bias, and thus the biases were addressed.

Participants were encouraged to respect the rights of everyone irrespective of whether they are men or women and to also train their female children the same way they would train their male children, as every child has right to be educated, and only then will they contribute meaningfully to the development of the society. The minds of participants were also disabused about the position held by many that women are not many in political offices because they don’t come out to support themselves. Participants were made to understand that for a very long time culture and religion have been used to manipulate the political system in such a way that women work against themselves. As a signatory to the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Nigeria ought to be deliberate on ensuring more women have access to political positions by implementing affirmative action in her laws and policies as recommended by CEDAW. The myriad of social and cultural issues affecting full realization of women’s rights can only be achieved with deliberate actions. Participants were also advised to walk away and not stay comfortable in abusive relationship as it is better to break such relationship before it breaks you.

At the end of the programme, many participants expressed appreciation to WEP for the new things they learnt and for the things they unlearnt. “This event is therapeutic. It has made me heal as I spoke about the things I have been holding for long,” confessed one of the participants.

WEP will continue to advocate for gender parity because, “gender parity is not good for women, it is good for societies.”

Promoting business opportunities for women around Niger-Nigeria border

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Group photograph of some stakeholders during the project start-up meeting in Katsina State, Nigeria

Import and export trade are some of the contributors to economic growth which leads to poverty reduction and improved living conditions. Import and export trade can lift many out of poverty in Nigeria where 87 million people are poor[1],  and in Niger where more than 40 percent of the population earn less than $1 a day[2]. A reasonable number of those who live in poverty are women as observed by UN Women that more women than men live on less than $1.90 a day.

Research[3] shows that small scale cross-border trade supports livelihoods of vulnerable households and that, most of Africa’s small-scale traders are female.[4]

As important as the cross-border trade is in lifting women out of poverty, several challenges are encountered by women who engage or would have engaged in this trade which affect the gains they would have made. Some of these challenges are insufficient capital, deficient infrastructure, cumbersome regulatory and documentary requirements among others.

To assist women to overcome these challenges in cross-border trade and reap the benefits therein for overcoming poverty and achieving gender equality, Women Environmental Programme (WEP) with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has initiated a project: “Promoting Women’s Socioeconomic Rights (POSER),” aimed at promoting cross-border trade opportunities for women around Niger-Nigeria trade corridor.

This project has the following objectives:

  • To mainstream gender into national and regional trade policies
  • To protect the human rights of women small-scale traders
  • To ensure institutions responsible for policy implementation are gender-responsive
  • To promote women’s access to financial support

To commence the implementation of the above project, WEP team between 25-28 February 2020 was in Katsina, Nigeria and Maradi in Niger, for project start-up meeting and sensitization of stakeholders relevant to cross-border trade. It was pertinent to get these stakeholders to be aware of this project and seek their cooperation for its success. From 25-26 February, WEP convened a project start-up meeting at Katsina Tourist Lodge with civil society organizations from Nigeria and Niger, where the project was discussed, and roles clarified between WEP and the partnering civil society organizations who are critical to support our advocacy to achieve the project objectives. After the project start-up meeting where WEP and partner civil society organizations strategized on how to implement this project, a high-level advocacy meeting that brought together relevant government agencies to cross-border trade was organized at the same Katsina Tourist Lodge. The Nigerian Customs Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Identity Management Commission, Department of State Services (DSS), were some of the government agencies that participated in the high-level advocacy meeting. All the agencies present gave their word to support the project towards providing business opportunities for women. “We are available to give any support to empower women in transborder trade and guide them on the procedures of engaging in transborder trade,” said the representative of the Zonal Controller, Nigerian Customs Service, Katsina Command. Similarly, the representative of the Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Katsina State, assured that, “as the agency responsible for the provision of foreign exchange and guidelines for trade, we shall work with the project team to support women cross-border traders in any way we can.” The CBN representative also highlighted some of the financial instruments that small-scale cross-border women traders can benefit from the CBN. Since carrying huge cash is another challenge for women cross-border traders, the National Identity Management Commission of Nigeria also promised to support in addressing this challenge by ensuring it produces national identity cards for women cross-border traders which also serve as a master card and can hold as much as 4 million Naira.

From Katsina, Nigeria, the advocacy team moved to Maradi in Niger Republic on 28 February 2020, where the team held meeting with some government agencies and some women cross-border traders at the office of Niger/Nigeria Joint Cooperation Commission (NNJCC) to seek for their cooperation to the project. Some of the agencies met with were the Police, Customs, Chamber of Commerce and officers of NNJCC. Just like in Nigeria, all expressed their commitment to see the project succeed.

Having prepared the ground, we shall roll out the activities of this project in the coming months. We shall start by carrying out a comprehensive assessment into the specific challenges faced by women cross-border trade around the Niger-Nigeria border with the view of making appropriate recommendations to addressing the identified challenges. We shall provide training to border managers on mainstreaming gender in their operations. Similarly, we shall provide training to cross-border women traders to understand regional and national trade policies and the step by step procedures of engaging in a legal cross-border trade. We shall provide a forum for women cross-border traders, relevant government agencies and civil society organizations to discuss issues affecting them pertaining cross-border trade, opportunities that exist, and best practices.

At the end of this project, the following are expected to be achieved: enhanced gender sensitive border management, increased financial support programs for women cross-border traders, strengthened relationship between women cross-border traders association and border officials, increased understanding of national and regional trade policies, and enhanced skills in business management by women cross-border traders.

[1] Punch Newspaper. https://punchng.com/with-87m-poor-citizens-nigeria-overtakes-india-as-worlds-poverty-capital/

[2] Business Insider. The 23 poorest countries in the world. https://www.businessinsider.com/the-23-poorest-countries-in-the-world-2015-7?IR=T

[3] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f36f/d591eebd38c104f11331d10f77909dd144f0.pdf

[4] International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development. Small-Scale Cross-Border Trade in Africa: Why It Matters and How It Should Be Supported. http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges-africa/news/small-scale-cross-border-trade-in-africa-why-it-matters-and-how-it

 

How WEP Volunteer and Mentorship Programme has impacted participants

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Participants brainstorm during one of the mentoring sessions at WEP’s office in Abuja

When we launched WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme in 2018, little did we know it will record such impacts it has recorded.

We were inspired by the new vision of WEP in her 2018-2027 strategic plan of a world where the lives of women and youth around the globe are positively transformed and decided to create a programme that will lead to the positive transformation of the lives of youth.

This birthed the WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme with the goal to assist communities address development challenges through volunteer service. The programme has the following specific objectives:

  • Equip volunteers with community development skills
  • Provide guidance to volunteers on designing and implementing community development projects
  • Assist volunteers to build a career in the development sector

The programme had started barely 3 months, when we were still at the introductory stage, that participants started pouring in testimonies about how their eyes had been opened to things they never imagined. The screenshots of WhatsApp discussions below explain more:

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At the end of the programme, more testimonies came in from participants on how impactful the WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme has being.

Read testimonies of some of the participants in the programme below:

“While my employment with the Federal Civil Service Commission was terminated, I decided to look for volunteering jobs particularly in areas of environment to keep up to date with happenings as I needed to update my knowledge as per environment because I had already developed passion for its sustainability.

I had known WEP during my HSE induction in 2017 and I decided to look further on what they are up to while I started following WEP on all her social media platforms as well as a subscription for newsletter or updates as the case may be hoping for my volunteering opportunity to be actualised. After few months, I read a tweet from WEP handle on Twitter and Facebook about an upcoming volunteer and mentorship program which I quickly applied for as it was an opportunity I had long waited for. I was lucky to be among the few mentees that were shortlisted.

The WEP mentorship program has helped me build my self-confidence and taught me the need to take action even if starting as a lone voice, it has helped me understand that volunteering entails basic fundamental skills and knowledge that needed to be critically explored before applying as a volunteer and what it entails to be a team leader.

I used to believe the national budget passage does not have any significant effect on me but, now, I know that the comprehensive knowledge of the budget is significant to any developmental project to be embarked on. Now I can write a detailed project proposal as well as apply as a knowledgeable volunteer.

One thing I like specially about the WEP Volunteer and Mentorship program is the unique approach of mentoring which was well detailed with participants interactive sessions and practicable examples. The experience has widened my horizon which I found time worthy.

I have started recommending WEP Volunteer and Mentorship program to family and friends as the impact of the program has reflected positively in my relationship with people and the environment.

Towards the end of the mentorship program, my employment with the federal civil service commission was reinstated and I have been performing on the job beyond expectation, also, I have been recently contacted by a national government organization on climate change to be part of their volunteers team. All these was made possible by WEP volunteer and mentorship training which was made available to us at no cost.

My appreciation goes to the founder of WEP, the brain behind the mentorship concept, the facilitators, all staff of WEP, greater heights by God’s grace.  Thank you WEP, I will always make you proud.” Abiodun Fatima Animashaun.

 

My name is Doom Torhee. I joined the WEP volunteer training in the 10th month in 2018, but I must say it has been a great journey. I gained a lot on how to use the TOC approach in project design which I am applying in designing my campaign against child abuse in 2019.

 In the course of my training program, I was given the opportunity by WEP to attend the Protection of Civilian (POC) training course, organized by the Nigerian Army in Jaji. This course has exposed me to the UN guidelines on mission projects and the importance of protecting the rights of human beings, who are the core components of every project we embark on.

 I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate the leadership and staff of WEP for this great initiative and for giving their time and resources to empower volunteers especially women and youths in Nigeria. I hope this effort will grow and we will make you proud.”  

 

“WEP made my 2018 very meaningful in no small measure.

 My dream of pursuing a career in the development /humanitarian sector got rejuvenated at WEP. 

 The volunteer/mentoring programme has indeed equipped me with more confidence, the resolve to make a difference.

I met and made new friends. Learnt new skills and can now take on more developmental challenges.

 I can now initiate a community development project from start to finish with monitoring and evaluation. The fun aspect can’t be forgotten.

 Thank you WEP, this knowledge will go a long way.

My name is Micheal Orkuma Goon and I’m proud to have partaken in this programme.”

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Michael Orkuma Goon

 

“WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme was very impactful, it helped me secure a contract job presently which I’m doing, it’s a project which is themed Building a culture of Pro Bono project in Nigeria where three parties are in partnership which is the Nigerian Bar Association, Justice Research institute, and Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

The project is in its second phase which I’m privileged to be amongst the team in Abuja and we are overseeing about five other states which are Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Lagos and Osun.” Adzege Stephanie Doofan

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Adzege Stephanie Doofan

“Knowledge they say is power and I have been empowered thanks to the Women Environmental Programme (WEP) .There was a time, I thought it was alright to sit from afar and determine a communities’ needs but I was wrong. WEP taught me to go close and relate with the community to decide their actual need.

Through the WEP mentorship programme, my skill and knowledge in volunteering, stakeholder mapping, project design, community needs assessment, monitoring and evaluation, community development, proposal development etc has improved greatly.

I am so grateful to WEP for this wonderful opportunity.” Nguvan Mercy Agaigbe

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Nguvan Mercy Agaigbe

“The WEP volunteering and mentorship program inspired me to believe more in myself and my abilities. This training inspired me to successfully design, manage and execute a 10days peer mentorship program for teenage refugees from southern Cameroon, through different trainings, cross-cultural interactions and capacity building tasks. It is a life changing experience how my little effort can change the world by volunteering and championing the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).” Agber kwaghdoo Sussan

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Agber kwaghdoo Sussan

“In today’s globally competitive environment, creativity has become the watchword for individuals and national success. Many non-governmental organizations are providing support programs, skills and knowledge to potential youths who aspire to be leaders in different spheres of life. WEP happens to be one of such that has created a conducive environment for volunteer youths to develop themselves towards achieving greater heights

The WEP volunteer program has enabled me think like a developer, carry out advocacy, conceive, implement and manage a project. Before now l had limited knowledge but with the training undertaken in the past months has clearly proven that one can improve their skills, rediscover their talent and have a zeal to contribute great towards societal development.”

Thank you WEP and God bless.”  VAJIME GRACE

The volunteers will soon unveil the community development projects they have conceived. We at WEP wish all of you well as you go out there to become ambassadors of community development.

WEP’s 2017 Annual Report and Audited Accounts

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The year 2017 was a period of transition and progress on many fronts for the Women Environmental Programme (WEP). As a way of projecting into the year 2017, WEP organized a two-day retreat for her Staff and Board of Directors to review her projects/activities of the previous year, to share success stories, lessons learned and to plan ahead towards attaining successful implementation of projects and activities and strengthening our global presence. WEP recorded a significant stride in the history of her existence with the celebration of her 20th anniversary tagged “WEP @ 20, celebration of service to humanity.” As at 2017, WEP had reached over 20,000,000 lives globally with her innovative and actionable initiatives. Download and read our report here – WEP’s 2017 ANNUAL REPORT AND AUDITED ACCOUNTS

WEP sub-grants to women and gender CSOs in Nigeria to advance SDGs’ implementation

WEP has provided sub-grants of 1000 Euros each, under the Women2030 project,  to 11 women and gender CSOs in Nigeria to implement activities that promote gender equality and contribute to the overall attainment of SDGs in the country.

The organizations and activities supported are:

Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st): Capacity building of policy makers and women’s CSOs and awareness raising on climate change and the UNFCCC’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States of Nigeria. The aim is for policy makers to integrate gender issues in climate actions and for the women’s CSOs to have the skills to push for this to happen.

Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI): ICT skills training for boys and girls at Government Secondary School Oginigba, Rivers State through setting up a mini computer laboratory in the school and conducting ICT skills training.

Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative (ECOWA): Advocacyfor a gender and equal opportunities law in Lagos State to increase participation of women in politics.  

Women and Youth Environmental Safety and Empowerment Organization (EWAY):  EWAY is teaching 10 women from Kuje and Kadokuchi communities of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Kuje Area Council respectively, upcycling skills to convert waste plastics into handbags and other products which they can sell and make money and at the same time clean the environment.

Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative (FYBIN): FYBIN is empowering 3 youths (2 females and 1 male) from Mpape community of Abuja in poultry production. The youths have been trained and given starter packs to set up their poultry farms. FYBIN is also running social media campaigns to raise awareness on issues of gender, vulnerability and SDGs.

Gender Perspectives and Social Development Center (GPSDC): GPSDC is advocating for inclusion of people with disabilities in governance in Anambra State of Nigeria in Urum (Awka North),Osumenyi (Nnewi South) and Ukwulu (Dunukofia) Local Government Areas covering the 3 senatorial zones.

Kwande Sisters Foundation (KSF): KSF is training 4 women and girls on tailoring skills in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.

Murna Foundation: Murna Foundation is working to strengthen advocacy on gender and women’s engagement in achieving SDGs goal 5 in Katsina State of Nigeria specifically in the following Local Government Areas – Daura, Malumfashi, Batagarawa, Rimi, Kankia and Kaita

Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development (NDWPD): NDWPD is carrying out Capacity building and skills development in Catering, Soap making and Coconut oil production for 30 women in Isoko North, Oshimili North and Warri South Local Government Areas of Delta State

Organized Center for Empowerment and Advocacy in Nigeria (OCEAN): OCEAN has proposed to build capacities of policy makers and CSOs in Plateau State of Nigeria on mainstreaming SDGs in policies and programmes of the state.

Ziongate Empowerment Initiative for the Less Privileged (ZEIP): ZEIP is advocating for policy and law on inclusive education in Kano State of Nigeria.

The project, “Women CSOs Networking to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals,” also known as “Women2030 project” is being implemented in about 52 countries of the world by the following global and regional women and gender organizations: Women Environmental Programme (WEP);  Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF); Global Forest Coalition (GFC); Gender and Water Alliance (GWA); and Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), with support from the Department of Development Cooperation of the European Commission. The project has the following strategic objectives:

  • Build capacity of women’s and gender-focused civil society organizations on planning, monitoring and implementation of the SDGs/post 2015 agenda and the climate agreement.
  • Create awareness at all levels of gender-equitable best practices and progress of national post-2015 SDG plans
  • Ensure more gender-responsive SDGs/post 2015 plans with participation of women and women’s organizations.

In the same vein, WEP has also provided sub-grants of N600,000 each to 8 Civil Society Organizations – 4 each in Zamfara and Benue States, under the project “Ensuring Effective Implementation of Programmes, Policies and Legislations, that Contribute Towards Achieving Gender Equality in Nigeria by 2030.”

 The organizations are:

Environment and Climate Change Amelioration Initiative (ECCAI), Nigerian Association of Women in Agriculture (NAWIA), Initiative for Women’s Health Development and Right Protection (WRAHI) and Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative (CLHEI) from Benue State. Others are  Life Helpers Initiative (LHI), Voluntary Aid Initiative (VAI), Millennium Development Centre (MDC) and Future Hope Foundation (FHF) from Zamfara State.

The organizations are expected to:

  • Conduct interactive meetings with women in selected rural communities in theses states to identify their priority needs and push for their inclusion in the States or National Budget
  •  Monitor implementation of selected capital projects in the States and National Budgets to ensure they deliver positive results for the youth, women and children

The project,“Ensuring Effective Implementation of Programmes, Policies and Legislations, that Contribute Towards Achieving Gender Equality in Nigeria by 2030”  is supported by the Kingdom of Netherlands and is being implemented in Benue and Zamfara States over a period of 5 years (November 2016- December 2020), targeting Legislators, Legislative Aides, States’ Executives; Civil Society Organizations; Traditional and Religious Leaders.

The objectives of this project include:

  1. Advocate for policies and legislations that promote women participation at all levels of decision making, and remove all obstacles (social, political, cultural and economic) hindering women’s empowerment and participation in decision making and infringing on their rights.
  2. Ensure effective implementation of programmes and projects through capacity building of CSOs, budget monitoring and information sharing.
  1. Raise awareness amongst stakeholders on the fundamental rights of women

WEP holds policy consultation on SDGs in Nigeria

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Participants at the Policy Consultation on SDGs in Abuja

Women Environmental Programme (WEP), on 27 June, 2018 at The Consort Luxury Suites, Plot 799 Kaura District, Abuja, organized a policy consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This policy consultation was part of the activities of the Women2030 project, which created a platform for different stakeholders to discuss Nigeria’s SDGs’ plans, policies and programmes, and make necessary recommendations that will help the country realize the SDGs. Stakeholders at the event were drawn from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, private sector, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media.

The Keynote address at the event which was titled: “Funding Implementation of SDGs in Nigeria,” was presented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who was represented by Mr. Yahaya Hamza. Princess Adejoke explained to the participants the different funding sources available for the implementation of SDGs in Nigeria. She also highlighted the strategies employed by her office as well as the different programmes being implemented by the office towards achieving SDGs.

According her, the funding sources for implementing SDGs in Nigeria are: “Funding from Annual Budgets: Through partnership with Ministry of Budget and National Planning, SDGs are mainstreamed into long term and medium term development plans e.g. the SDGs core areas such as energy, food security, agriculture, infrastructural development, industry, macroeconomic stability and inclusive growth have been integrated into the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP). At the sub-national levels, the SDGs are being mainstreamed into State development plans. The MDAs align these sectoral plans with the annual budget and work plan for resource allocation and implementation.

Debt Relief Gains: The Debt Relief Gains (DRG) is a robust financing strategy that emerged when Nigeria obtained debt relief from the Paris Club of Creditors. The DRG funds were administered by the then Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs and was utilized to scale up high impact pro-poor interventions geared towards achieving the MDGs. Unfortunately, the DRG funds are not available for now but the SDGs Office is strongly advocating at relevant quarters, for the reintroduction of the DRG funds for SDGs interventions and activities.

The Conditional Grants Scheme: The Conditional Grants Scheme (CGS) was introduced in2007 as a vehicle for fostering inter-governmental collaboration towards scaling up efforts for achieving the MDGs. To prioritize the SDGs implementation at the sub-national levels, this innovative financing framework has been adopted. The CGS is being used to incentivize the domestication of the SDGs and will leverage investments from the sub-national governments through an equal; counterpart contributory arrangement that ensures high impact interventions in the social, economic and environmental aspects of development is delivered to poor rural communities.” Other sources she said include: The United Nations Development Assistance Framework and the Green Bonds.

After the Keynote address, participants were taken through the 17 goals and the 169 targets and how the SDGs could be mainstreamed in policies and programmes of organizations by Linda Akpami, Environment Consultant.

This was followed by the presentation by WEP on the preliminary results of the assessment she carried out on specific goals and targets of the SDGs in 11 states of Nigeria: Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Anambra, Benue, FCT, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kano, Yobe and Katsina. The assessment sought information against the following SDGs and targets: Goal 1, targets 1.2 and 1.4; Goal 4, target 4a; Goal 5, target 5.5; Goal 6 targets 6.1 and 6.2; Goal 7, target 7.1; and Goal 13, target 13.2. However, only the quantitative results for goals 1,4, 5, 6 and 7 were presented at the policy consultation.

The result of the assessment revealed the following:

  • High poverty rates across the states assessed as income levels of respondents with highest percentage fell within the income category of N1-N10,000 which translates to the fact that most respondents live on less than 1 USD a day.
  • Many schools assessed had no infrastructure for equitable and quality education: Apart from FCT, less than 50% of schools in the other states had computers for use by teachers, pupils/students. Averagely, 90% of schools assessed had no infrastructure and materials adapted to the needs of children with disabilities. Similarly, many schools had no electricity, drinking water sources, toilets, and handwashing facilities.
  • Major drinking water sources of respondents were found to be borehole, sachet water and wells across all the states as most respondents had no access to public pipe borne water. Similarly, an average of 10% of respondents across all the states assessed had no toilets in their households.
  • An average of 80% of respondents had no access to public electricity supply, while over 60% across all the states depended on kerosene, firewood and charcoal as their major sources of cooking energy.
  • None of the states assessed had a woman as a governor. The states also had by far, fewer number of women in their Houses of Assembly and as Commissioners than men.

The participants at the consultation proffered the following major recommendations to be implemented if Nigeria must achieve the SDGs by 2030:

  • It is important that all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government align their activities with the targets of their relevant SDGs and draw up actionable plans that will be implemented over time to achieve the SDGs targets. Until the MDAs work in line with the set targets of the SDGs, the country will be far from achieving the SDGs at the appropriate time.
  • Governments at all levels should ensure all private and public schools are inclusive and have infrastructure for equitable and qualitative education which gives access to education to both the abled and children with disabilities.
  • Governments at all levels should increase investment in renewable energy and create an environment that will open doors for more players (local and foreign) in renewable energy sector, thereby making as many communities as possible have access to mini-grids and off-grids energy systems as well as clean and affordable cooking energy.
  • Ministries and Agencies of Government responsible for provision of water to the citizens should make concrete plans to ensure more Nigerians have access to portable water by expanding their distribution networks and exploiting more, the abundant water resources in the country for provision of portable water to the citizens.
  • Government should commit to implementing the Affirmative Action in the National Gender Policy for more involvement and meaningful participation of women in public decisions. While it is recommended that the Lawmakers translate the Affirmative Action into a law, the Executives should be guided by the National Gender Policy in their appointments so as to achieve gender balance.

Full text of KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY THE SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS at the Policy Consultation on SDGs in Abuja.

WEP holds annual staff retreat, hosts partners to a new-year dinner to present a film on gender and chemicals.

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Board Members and Staff of WEP pose for a group photograph after the 3-day staff retreat in Abuja, Nigeria

Women Environmental Programme (WEP) organized a 3-day retreat for staff and Board Members of the organization from 7 – 10 January, 2018, at Royal Choice Inn, Central Area, Abuja, Nigeria. As it is customary to WEP, at the beginning of every year, Staff and Board Members of the organization convene for a retreat where the organization reflects on her activities for the previous year and plan for the new year.

The 2018 staff retreat was a unique one as WEP used it to plan for commencement of implementation of her new 10-year Strategic Plan, which runs from 2018 – 2027. The development of this new Strategic Plan was supported by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF). The newly produced WEP’s Resource Mobilization Strategy, also supported by AWDF, was presented to the Board Members and approved. WEP’s new Strategic Plan provides for International Board of Directors as well as National Board of Directors in her countries of operation. With this provision, some notable international women’s rights and gender activists – Sascha Gabizon from the Netherlands, Winnie Lichuma from Kenya and Yuyun Ismawati from Indonesia – have joined the International Board. Sascha and Winnie were at the retreat to share their wealth of experience with staff. Other Board Members at the retreat were: Yakubu Aliyu, Professor David Ker, Professor Kabiru Isyaku, Dr. Janeth Asagh, Dr. Reubem Ibaishwa, Anne-Marie Abaagu and Dr. Priscilla Achakpa, the Exceutive Director.

After the Staff retreat, WEP hosted her partners to a new-year dinner at Royal Choice Inn, Abuja to appreciate the support to her work received from the partners over the years. The partners were drawn from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, Civil Society Organizations, United Nations Agencies and the Media.

During the dinner, WEP and her Netherland partner, Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) made a presentation of the film based on the scoping study on gender dimensions of chemicals and wastes policies under the BRS Conventions in Nigeria.

WEP also presented awards to some of her Staff for outstanding performance in year 2017. The awards were: Award for Outstanding Performance Through Innovative Ideas, presented to Mr John Baaki Terzungwe; Award for Being Excellent Team Leader presented to Mr. Cliff Gai; Award for Being Proactive, presented to Ms Damaris Uja; and Award for Dedication to Work presented to Mr. Barau Bature.

What a wonderful way to start a year at WEP.

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Mr. John Baaki Terzungwe (Right) receives award for ‘Outstanding Performance Through Innovative Ideas’
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Mr. Cliff Gai (Right) presented with the ‘Award for Being Excellent Team Leader’
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Ms Damaris Uja (Right) presented with the ‘Award for Being Proactive’
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Mr. Barau Bature (Left) presented with the ‘Award for Dedication to Work’
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Sascha Gabizon of WECF giving highlight of the film – What has gender got to do with chemicals?