SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
The Economic Empowerment Approach to addressing SGBV was adopted following our participation in the Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) training by WISE Development, with support from a former donor organization (DAI Global in November 2017) during the implementation of the Market Development Program in Niger Delta (MADE) Iince 2017 till date, CLICE has hitherto built on existing evidence-based data collected from victims and individuals at risk of SGBV during our sensitization visits to selected communities and secondary schools in Cross River State, Lagos, Enugu, and Rivers State. CLICE Foundation has been able to lend its voice to the shadow pandemic through a series of inter-connected activities, such as policy advocacy, budget monitoring to ensure gender-responsive budgeting in Cross River State, with support from the Center for Social Justice, awareness creation, and sensitization campaigns, across communities with a focus on all-gender; women, men, boys and girls for a holistic fight against SGBV and SRGBV through domestic resource mobilization, virtual campaigns on social media, leveraging the United Nations (UN) International Day of the Girl Child, and commemoration of the 16 days of Activism on Violence Against Gender-based Violence (VAWG). This is often done through a partnership with other CSOs and stakeholders across the geo-political zones in Nigeria.
SENSITIZATION AND AWARENESS
To mark the International Day of the Girl Child, in 2017 & 2018 CLICE Foundation and Initiative for Sustainable Peace & Entrepreneurship Development (ISPED) had a sensitization and awareness creation activity in selected secondary schools in Cross Rivers State, Lagos, Rivers, and Enugu State. The activity focused on informing students on how victims of sexual harassment could find help, build confidence among girls to speak up during abuse, provide emergency helplines to girls to call during abuse, and link girls to organizations such as the Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Mirabel Center to provides post-traumatic-support and helps to victims of sexual abuse and rape.
During the heat of the pandemic and lockdown, CLICE facilitated the referral of victims of SGBV to support service providers as captured by the European Union Agent of Citizens Transformation (ACT) in December 2020.
WATER SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH)
Enugu in 2019 with Teen AfriqIn May 2019, World Menstrual Hygiene Day, CLICE Foundation and Teen Afriq were on the frontline at Enugu to advocate for the provision of water in rural communities and menstrual hygiene materials for girls in secondary schools and women, especially those in rural communities. They also sensitized girls on menstrual hygiene management thus increasing awareness on menstrual hygiene management such as; application of WASH and proper disposal of used sanitary pad
Also, in June 2020, CLICE Foundation Partnered with: She Matters Foundation, Brendcare Foundation, PINK Africa Foundation, Strong Enough Girls and supported by Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency towards Sustainable Action for Menstrual Hygiene Management during COVID-19. Women and girls from low income communities were trained on how to make reusable sanitary pads. Increased knowledge on menstrual hygiene management. Dozens of menstrual hygiene materials were distributed (Sanitary pads, and menstrual bracelets), Hands-on training on menstrual hygiene management, Live streamed training reaching additional participants via social media, as well as a radio advocacy on Correct FM reaching over 2million listeners in Cross River State and Cameroon.
POLICY AND ADVOCACY
Pre-COVID-19: Addressing Gender Based Violence (GBV) through Economic Empowerment
Norms of ‘breadwinner masculinity’ in many parts of Nigeria put men under pressure to continue to provide for their families even as government restrictions make it more difficult to do so and their wives and children ask them for money for food and other household necessities. Women’s rights activists working on VAWG said increased intra-household conflict of this nature has led to more cases of physical violence, psychological violence, and denial of resources. From 2017 to 2019, CLICE Foundation secured partnership with the Development Alternative Inc. (DAI) as a co-facilitator of the recently concluded Department for International Development Funded (DFID) funded Market Systems Development in the Niger Delta (MADE) I & II intervention with the overall objective of driving inclusive economic growth in the Niger Delta Region.
CLICE Foundation provided technical support for the promotion and adoption of a private sector driven supply of improved fish processing technology for poor, but economically active households in the Creeks, peri-urban and urban areas in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. 80% of the beneficiaries were women.
This approach to addressing VAWG increases women’s ability to be part of the decision making process and reduces the level of dependency on men. Therefore, reducing the likelihood of Violence Against Women because the women are able to contribute to and support their husbands financially.
Currently, CLICE Foundation secured another partnership with the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), Fisheries Intervention across every segment of the value chain (from seed to market) in the nine (9) Niger Delta States, River State inclusive to increase household income while addressing food insecurity and the root causes of VAWG.
Women and Girls who were victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Rivers State faced increased barriers to reporting and accessing medical assistance and legal aid during the COVID-19 lockdown. The pandemic lock down, curfew and suspension of public transportation with strict implementation by the Rivers State Government, the Governor, His Excellency, Gov. Wike hampered the ability of front line support service providers; sexual and reproductive health workers, rape clinical management, Emergency hotlines, legal aid, crisis centers, etc. from providing assistance. However, survivors who spoke up on social media were eventually referred to service providers for remote counselling. Even if cases were reported, service providers were inaccessible by survivors. This resulted in under-reporting and lack of adequate information for specialist service providers to support victims and survivors.
Women and girls who were victims of VAWG were not able to access medical assistance and justice. Victims had no choice than to live with perpetrators in unsafe environments.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), At least 13 varying cases were reported per day all through the lockdown in Rivers State. Two of such cases were of child defilement perpetrated by the father. Levels of physical violence perpetrated against women and girls increased during the pandemic as many women were at the mercy of abusive husbands or fathers. However, a more disturbing and novel view on Gender Based Violence that the pandemic presented is perpetrated by security officials.
16 DAYS ACTIVISM
CLICE Foundation was one of the Civil Society Organisations selected by the European Union (EU) to participate in a one-day Share to Support dialogue session in November 2020. The virtual event brought together leaders of civil society, the media, Government officials, Donor agencies and EU Programme implementing partners to reflect and share responses to GBV advocacy experiences during the COVID -19 Pandemic.
The dialogue session was aimed at highlighting the unique experiences in the 7 ACT states (Lagos, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Edo, Rivers and the FCT) and the innovations with which CS organizations addressed the GBV challenges in their locality during the pandemic.
At the 5 hours virtual dialogue, 7 CSO partners including CLICE Foundation were given the opportunity to share stories on Issues, innovations used, results so far & challenges of working on SGBV in their respective states of operation. In this light, CLICE Foundation made a presentation at the virtual event, marking the 16 days of Activism and Advocacy on Gender Based Violence. This was a live event that was aired on major radio stations and published across diverse media platforms.
Violence Against Women And Girls (VAWG) has become a serious crisis in Nigeria in the last decade with the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NHDS) recording that 28 percent of women in Nigeria aged 15-49 have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence.
ADVOCACY AND ECONOMICE EMPOWERMENT THROUGH DOMESTIC RESOURCE MOBILISATION AND DONOR FUNDS.
As an organization that drives inclusive interventions through capacity building, system strengthening, advocacy and economic empowerment, we ensure gender is mainstreamed into all interventions and programmes deliberately to address the root causes of Violence AgainstWomen and Girls (VAWG).
Our approach to addressing VAWG is multi-dimensional, preventive and Responsive through referral during advocacy visits. Early interventions such as advocacy programmes and economic empowerment is premised on the belief that “prevention is better than cure”. The approach was adopted following our participation in the Women Economic Empowerment training by WISE Development; a DAI Global Company, in November 2017.
Rivers State: In November 2018, We had both radio advocacy where listeners were allowed to call-in on the Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation live programme to share their experience. Thereafter, we visited selected public and private secondary schools. The secondary school narrative was similar in Rivers State. The outcome was increased awareness on Violence Against Women and Girls in secondary Shools and workplace, adopting the #HearMeToo. Further engagement with organisations in Rivers State revealed similar exercises had been carried out, but no data. Major constraints to furthering intervention were sketchy data and lack of funding. Our solution in this situation was advisory, referral and further advocacy on social media platforms. Enugu State: Building on previous experiences and findings at the secondary school level, CLICE adapted to preventive intervention by ensuring all stakeholders were involved. The advocacy was targeted at primary school pupils (primary 3 to primary 6) in University of Nigerian Enugu Campus (UNEC) having identified weak relationships between students, parents and teachers as part of the root causes of the sustained culture of VAWG.