- It gives me great joy to be part of this important occasion tagged; “The need to give Gbagyi Indigenous women a voice” aimed at creating awareness for the overall wellbeing of Gbagyi indigenous women in Federal Capital Territory. This seminar as the name implies will serve as a facilitating factor by connecting Gbagyi indigenous women and their community to the national and international frameworks for articulating and enlightening them on the need to advocate for their rights as indigenous people of Federal Capital Territory and to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions.
2.The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has the mandate to co-ordinate all activities that are aimed at protecting and promoting the welfare of all Nigerian women by enhancing their abilities to realize their full potentials in various fields of human endeavours.
- It is very important to sensitize and build the capacity of FCT indigenous women on the preservation of their indigenous knowledge and how to use it for the benefit of their communities and the future generations, according to the Sustainable Development Goals 11 (SDG 11) on the need to make cities inclusively safe, resilient and sustainable.
- It is quite disheartening to note that Gbagyi Indigenous women lack knowledge, capacity, solidarity and a collective sense to organize an initiative in order to manage their resources. Also, they are the voiceless and less dominant in the city due to lack of political and socio-economic participation.
- It is my honest deposition to state that my ministry is already involved in the course of providing an enabling environment that can give women a voice in the society.
- In this regards, I sincerely want to assure you that the Ministry of Women Affairs will always identify with such laudable project like this to uplift the status of Gbagyi indigenous women and the overall Nigerian woman.
- Finally, I wish to appreciate the effort of the organizers of this great event and also the development partners and other stakeholders for your encouragement towards addressing and breaking the long silence of the Gbagyi Indigenous women of the Federal Capital Territory and helping them to be heard.
- Thank you all for listening.
Ms Della Ilenre, the focal point on indigenous issues for Centre for 21st century (C21st) participated in the 2016 training on Human Rights and International advocacy conducted by International Indigenous women Forum. It was a six weeks course divided into two-phase. The first phase was online while the second phase was a face to face meeting which took place in New York.
During the six weeks training Ms Ilenre had the opportunity to learn about the framework of international policy as it relates to International law. She also had the opportunity to study intensively the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), the ILO Convention No 169, Convention On the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and many other international Instruments.
The face to face training which took place at the Columbia University, New York from 2-13 May 2016 was a big eye-opener, it opened up a platform of indigenous women working in solidarity for measurable impacts on the ground. The struggle for the enthronement and enjoyment of rights of indigenous Peoples and particularly of indigenous women requires strong connections to the global indigenous movement.
The training gives a robust information on how local struggles can influence global struggles and vice versa. It stimulates the identification of peculiar national issues which have hitherto been neglected and re-directs and sharpens the vision for deeper, result oriented lobbying and advocacy processes.
During the training session in New York, Ms Della participated in the United Nations Permanent forum on Indigenous Issues, a big forum which opened up the space to meet indigenous rights activists, learn, share experiences and imbibe best practices which is needed to organize and develop better strategy to meet the target of C21st with respect to indigenous issues.
The training undoubtedly , has set the tone for the take off of c21st indigenous rights advocacy in Nigeria. The support , boldness and capacity instilled in Ms Della is already been put into action. She is currently working with policy makers at the House of Assembly in Nigeria, discussing strategies on how to bring the voices of indigenous groups and minorities into policy processes , building the capacity of policy makers and indigenous Peoples