Women Reject EU’s Interference In The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

 

African women reject the European Union’s unnecessary meddling in Africa’s Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).  African women are very concerned at the manner in which some European countries, France in particular, influenced some African leaders to hastily approve projects without having a transparent process with social, environmental and gender criteria in place.

 

At a board meeting in March in Conakry, the European Commission and France in collusion with a few African countries repackaged existing European Union projects for Africa, but which did not originate from Africa, as first batch of projects to be approved by AREI.

 

The way and manner these projects were introduced and approved- by bypassing AREI’s process being developed for social and Environmental criteria- is a very negative sign, setting the entire process off on a negative footing, refusing African people’s transparent decision making, and entirely against the principles by which AREI was created.

 

African women insist that European Union cannot dictate for Africans over any issue especially the one concerning universal access to clean, appropriate and affordable energy for all.

 

Women are particularly concerned about the unnecessary interference by European Union and France particularly as it can jeopardize the noble objective of AREI in providing people-centered and gender responsive clean energy solutions capable of addressing the chronic energy poverty which affects women in Africa disproportionately.

 

African women join their voices with other Civil Society Organizations in Africa to condemn the undue interference of European Union in AREI. African women stand for a strong and independent AREI, with full and meaningful participation of women’s organizations in all levels of the decision-making processes.

 

For and on behalf of African women

 

Ms Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environment Program (WEP), Collette Benoudji Coordinator  Association Lead Tchad and Ms Titilope Akosa, Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)

 For further information:

Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st)

6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Email: titiakosa@gmail.com

 

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African Women Congratulate Their Super Shero –Ms. Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General

19 th December, 2016

On behalf of Nigerian women and indeed, African women, we heartily congratulate Amina J. Mohammed, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Nigeria, for a well earned and deserved appointment as the new Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. This is another testimony to her great and avowed commitment to the people and the planet.

The exemplary life of service of Ms. Amina Mohammed since her days as the National moderator of Civil Society Action Coalition On Education for All (CSACEFA) to her meritorious service in coordinating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), her recent role in catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and her current transformative leadership as Nigeria’s Minister of the Environment; have demonstrated unwavering commitment, dedication and passion to the cause of humanity.

In all these positions Ms. Amina Mohammed has inspired us women to strive to be the best and aim for the stars. We have drawn inspiration from her leadership, encouragement and wealth of experience. We are therefore not surprised that her dedication, passion and doggedness has propelled her to achieve the feat of been the first woman in Nigeria to attain this new position.

Her latest accomplishments are indeed no mean feat; it is a signal to all women everywhere that women can shatter the glass ceiling and at the same time a clarion call for the enthronement of women’s leadership in the world.

Assuredly, we women are solidly behind her, we stand by and support her to succeed in this new position.

We commend President Mohammed Buhari and Nigeria people for reposing confidence in Ms. Amina Mohammed to take on the Position of the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.

While we appreciate the President for appointing Amina Mohammed, we are very much aware that she deserves it, we take this opportunity to call for more openings and opportunities for smart and hardworking Nigerian and African women into appointive leadership positions at all levels.

Congratulations again! We are proud of you and your achievements.

Continue to climb new heights of success! You are unstoppable!

Priscilla M. Achakpa-Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria/Organizing Partner-Women’s Major Group

For and on behalf of Nigerian and African Women’s Major Group

Endorsed by

1. Ms. Titilope Akosa – Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) – Nigeria

2. Sascha A Gabizon- Women Engage for a Common Future- International and Organizing Partner, Women Major Groups (WMG)

3. Anne Addeh- Women and Youths Environmental Safety and Empowerment Organisation a.k.a EWAY for Development

4. Ms. Ugbaa Sewuese Mary –Angel support Foundation – Nigeria

5. Thelma Munhequete – Africa foundation for Sustainable Development- Mozambique

6. Mrs. Semia Gharbi: Association de l’Education Environnementale pour les Futures Générations: AEEFG, -Tunisia

7. Amb Caroline Usikpedo – Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and DevelopmentNigeria

8. Louisa Ono Eikhomun- Echoes of Women in Africa (ECOWA) Nigeria

9. Judith Kateule- Africa Foundation for Sustainable Development (AFSD)-Zambia

10. Attah Benson- Community Emergency Response Initiative, Nigeria

11. Juliana Agema-Charles and Doosurgh Abaagu Foundation, Nigeria

12. Felicia Onibon- Change Managers International Network, Country Coordinator Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya GEC

13. Omoyemen Lucia Odigie-Emmanuel- Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research, Nigeria

14. Zenabou Segda- Women Environmental Programme, Burkina Faso

15. TSONYA – ACAKPO ADDRA Brigitte- Women Environmental Programme, Togo

16. Elizabeth Jeyol- Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative (GERI), Nigeria 17. Cécile NDJEBET Presidente REFACOF/Coordonnatrice Nat. Cameroon

18. Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi- Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN), Uganda

19. Mrs. Hawa Nibi Amenga-Etego- GrassRootsAfrica, Ghana

20. Juliet Wombo-Kwande Sisters Foundation, Nigeria

21. Nnenna Nwakanma- Africa Regional Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation

22. Colette BENOUDJI, Lead Tchad

23. Akurut Violet Adome (Hon) Member of Parliament Uganda and Founder Member and Chair Katakwi Grassroots Women Development Initiative (KAWODI) Uganda.

24. Ndivile Mokoena- GenderCCSA, South Africa

25. Jennifer Amejja- National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Uganda

26. Diel Mochire Mwenge- Provincial PIDP Nord-Kivu, REPALEF/RDC au Nord-Kivu, RDC 27. Hon. Winifred Masiko- Rural Gender and Development Association, Uganda

28. Kemi Oluyide- Centre for Grassroots and Environmental Concerns, Nigeria

29. Nkiruka Nnaemego-Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative, Nigeria

30. Hanna Gunnarsson, Women Engage for a Common Future Deutschland 31.

Mary Nyasimi- Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Kenya

32. Winnie Lichuma- Chairperson, National Gender and Equality Commission,Kenya

33. Rose Pélagie MASSO, Coordonnatrice Adjointe Cameroun Ecologie (Cam-Eco)

34. Veronica Jakarasi- Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe

35. Mirabel Edozie – South – South Professional Women Association, Nigeria.

36. Daisy Alero Emoekabu- Climate  Change  Policy  PhD  Researcher,  University  of  Kent,  and  Green  Patriots  for  Environmental  Protection  &  Sustainability,  Nigeria

37. Bose Ironsi-  Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP), Nigeria

38. Ruth During- Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council(WSSCC), Nigeria

39. Lucy Mulenkei- Indigenous Information Network, Kenya

40. Dr, Keziah Awosika -Women Law and Development Centre (WLDCN)- Nigeria

41. Alexandrial Allen- foundation Starters – Nigeria

42. Nancy Olatunji-International Living Africa Urban and Environment Project – Nigeria

43. Vivian Ifeoma Emesowum, Grassroot People and Gender Development Center – Nigeria For further information:

1. Women Environmental Programme (WEP) Block E Flat 2 Anambra Court, Gaduwa Housing Estate, after Apo Legislative Quarters Abuja, Nigeria info@wepnigeria.net; wep2002@hotmail.com

2. Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st) 6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria titiakosa@gmail.com

Message To World Leaders On Earth Day And The Signing of The Paris Climate Agreement

Today, as we celebrate the Earth Day, 2016, World Leaders will gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement that was adopted on 12th of December, 2015 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st  Conference of Parties ( COP21).

It is an epoch making event which not only prepares the ground for other formal processes as required by international law for the agreement to enter into force but it significantly, reminds us that It is our collective responsibility to pursue efforts to limit  temperature increase to 1.5°C for the people and planet to have a chance at survival.

It is a wake up call to #keepFossilFuelsInTheGround, #BreakFreeFromFalseSolutions, #MoveAwayFromDirtyEnergy, embrace clean and 100% renewable energy and set the world on the pathway to climate resilience and sustainability. It is time to strive harder to deliver Climate justice to those who are on the frontlines of climate change, majority of whom are women and children.

World leaders should remember that signing, ratifying is one of the first steps to set the tone for implementation of the agreement. Implementation is key to averting the dangerous consequences of climate change. Bearing in mind that the submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which is now part of the Paris agreement is not sufficient to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C. We need ambitious policies and actions beyond what is in the NDCs to keep the world safe.

Celebrating the” feat” of reaching the Paris  agreement is good but genuine and  effective actions are better. Genuine leaders act and stand on the side of  the people and the planet.

 Happy Earth Day, 2016

Gbemisola Titilope Akosa
Executive Director
Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)

Women and Gender Constituency Response to Draft Paris Outcome

 

 

11 December 2015
http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/da02.pdf
Summary
The capacity for the Paris Agreement to deliver a binding, ambitious, fair and gender just outcome that will limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees and transform polluting and inequitable economies continues to be at risk.

The most recent draft, issued by the French Presidency on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, adopted here in Paris on December 10, 1948, represents a disappointing step away from the promised commitment to human rights and at the same time, it
suggests a move to pressure developing countries into accepting a weaker outcome in the final hours of negotiations.

Fundamentally, this agreement does not address the needs of the most vulnerable countries, communities and people of the world. It fails to address the structures of injustice and inequality which have caused the climate crisis.
Our key concerns includes:
● Weak goal on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, with total failure to address or mandate actions needed from developed countries to attain this goal;
● Failure to enshrine human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs, food
security, intergenerational equity, and ecosystem integrity in the core of the agreement;
● Total shift away from implementation in line with the principles of the Convention, namely common but differentiated responsibilities;
● Offsetting as mitigation measures;
● Failure to ensure compensation for loss and damage;
● Dilutes the responsibilities of developed countries to provide climate finance; with weak provisions for public finance and grants over loans;
● No provisions to ensure that technology development and transfer are safe, socially and environmentally sound.

Analysis
Preamble/Article 2.2
● Article 2.1: The current purpose of holding global temperature increases to “well below 2 degrees” and “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees” is ambiguous and does not reflect a strong enough commitment to 1.5 degrees, which would be necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change.
● Article 2.2:
○ Rights language has been lost: a s recently as this week, Article 2.2 of the draft agreement included strong language on human rights and gender equality. Despite the urging of many Parties to ensure these crosscutting
principles are returned, a reference to gender equality was not restored and “human rights” was removed. This must be reinserted
within the operative text of the Agreement.

Continue reading

Women are Guardian Angels of The Climate

The first day of the COP21 climate talks was very dramatic. Right from the entrance of Le Bourget venue of COP21 climate change talks in Paris  world leaders and participants were welcomed by beautiful women dressed in angelic regalia holding key messages of peace, hope and justice for a just climate change agreement that will put the world on the pathways of resilience.

The women no doubt represents women all over the world who are craving for a climate change agreement that takes account of the needs of the most vulnerable and protect our shared humanity and planet.  The  actions of the women guardian angels resonates with  the key demands of women to the world leaders which was later unveiled at a press conference by the women and Gender Constituency (WGC) of the UNFCCC .

Women has 11 points demands which includes

  1. Governments must commit to keep warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent catastrophic climate change, in line with the principles of the Convention, namely equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).
  2. The agreement must ensure that all climate actions, both adaptation and mitigation, respect, protect, promote and fulfil human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous peoples, intergenerational equity, a just transition and decent work, food security, and ecosystem integrity and resilience.20151128_163407
  3. Developed countries must do their fair share by taking the lead to close the inequitable emissions gap of current intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) and providing unconditional support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  4. Governments must commit to wide-ranging ambitious and just actions pre-2020 under Workstream II.
  5. Concepts such as ‘net-zero’ or ‘carbon neutrality’ or any that encourage off-setting and unsafe technological solutions must be left out of the agreement.
  6. The long-term global goal of the agreement must articulate a sustainable pathway for urgently reducing emissions: phasing in 100% safe and sustainable renewable energy systems and wide-ranging structural and lifestyle changes – and phasing out harmful technologies and fossil fuels, in line with the principles of CBDR and equity.
  7. Adaptation approaches must be country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent.
  8. The new agreement must explicitly include a standalone section on Loss and Damage and include a mechanism to address both financial and non-monetized Loss and Damage.
  9. Technology development and transfer must be safe for people and the environment, affordable to all and gender responsive.
  10. Developed countries must provide clearly defined, new, additional, and predictable gender-responsive public finance, in the form of grants. The goal of $100 billion per year must be a floor, not a ceiling, scaled up at least every five years, with a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation, and include finance for loss and damage in addition to adaptation funding.
  11. Finally, participation in decision-making under the new agreement should be inclusive and transparent, ensuring all barriers to movement and travel for developing country participants are alleviated and that civil society has access to decision-making spaces.

The women’s demands are crucial to engender real system change that can catalyze redistribution of wealth, resources and power for a sustainable and just future.

Just as world leaders and participants at the climate talks was arrested by the messages of the women climate guardian angels at Le Bouger, the voices of those who are most impacted by climate change, including women the vulnerable, the  socially disadvantaged as well as poor should also arrest the attention of world leaders in the negotiations and inspire them to commit to a gender just  climate agreement.

Women are playing their roles as mothers of the human race and  guardian of the earth and the climate. They are saying in unison that they will not give up on our beautiful planet. They will stand up and fight for the survival of the planet.

Written by

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and Ms Edna Kaptoyo

Women Climate Justice advocates COP21

 

A ‘Non-Paper’ for a ‘Non-Effective’ ‘Non-Just’ ‘Non-Equal’ Climate Agreement

Ahead of ADP2.11 the Women Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC have responded  to  the draft Paris agreement and draft COP decision released by Co-Chairs of the ADP  
below is the text of the press release
 A ‘Non-Paper’ for a ‘Non-Effective’ ‘Non-Just’ ‘Non-Equal’ Climate Agreement

On October 5th 2015, the co-Chairs of the ADP process released a new “Non-Paper” document including a draft of the Paris agreement and a draft of the COP decision, to be both adopted at COP21 in December 2015 in Paris.

The WGC, one of the nine official constituencies accredited to the UNFCCC, comprised of women’s rights, feminist organizations and networks representing thousands of groups and individuals, wants to express its profound concern about this new ‘non-paper’ which aims to act as a basis for negotiations on the new climate agreement.

Having followed the ADP negotiations very closely, this document does not reflect the discussions in a balanced way. Many crucial issues voiced by Parties under the ADP have been glaringly left out. This undermines the promises of the co-Chairs for a Party-driven process, and threatens the collective will to actively engage towards an ambitious and fair agreement. The WGC has highlighted several key issues which must be brought back into the agreement in this upcoming week of negotiations.

1. Deletion of gender equality and human rights in the draft agreement

Since the first session of the ADP, and throughout this year, Parties have made strong calls for human rights and gender equality to act as guiding principles to all actions under the new agreement. In particular, in the last session where the co-Chairs had identified these issues in ‘Part 3’ of their negotiations tool, Parties made clear that they wanted these issues brought back into the agreement. Several Parties raised this in the discussions on the Preamble and in discussions on the General / Objective section. More than 40 Parties expressed their support in having human rights and gender equality expressly mentioned in the Paris agreement. Specifically on gender, three groups of Parties (AILAC, the Environmental Integrity Group and the African Group) alongside 12 individual countries raised their flags to make clear to the co-Facilitators that gender equality must be included under the operative part of the agreement and not just in the preamble or in a decision. Fundamentally, no Party expressed objection to this.

The WGC and many colleagues and allies are therefore concerned and surprised to see that these issues have been completely left out of the co-Chairs non-paper. Gender equality, which had been referenced across all areas of the new agreement, including prominently also in technology and finance sections, is now solely reflected in relation to adaptation. This is neither reflective of Parties views nor the progress/ current mandates which already exist on these issues under the UNFCCC.

2. Does not address the causes of the climate crisis

The unique mention of fossil fuels that was contained in the previous non-paper of the co-Chairs has disappeared in this updated version. With 80% of GHG emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels and public subsidies to this sector accounting for 700 Billion USD — a multitude of the long-term finance promise of 100 Billion USD per year by 2020 from Copenhagen –, this is a glaring gap that obfuscates one of the systemic causes of the global climate crisis.

Additionally, accountability for mitigation commitments is wholly insufficient, instead prioritizing language on voluntary promises and flexible targets. Commitments made by Parties under the currently submitted INDCs are nowhere near the cuts needed to prevent an increase in the temperatures below 2C. The Geneva text contained an option that referred to a carbon budget, to be divided among countries according to their “historical responsibilities, ecological footprint, capabilities and state of development”. But this too has been omitted from the current non-paper.

The mitigation section doesn’t at all challenge the structural causes of global warming. Wide ranging structural and lifestyle changes, reduction in current consumption and production patterns, and maintenance of ecological sustainability should be at the core of solutions to the climate crisis. Instead, the mitigation section includes false solutions, including the possibility of opting for a long term objective of “net zero” that promotes offsetting mechanisms such as forest plantations for carbon storage at the detriment of the rights of local people and indigenous communities and their livelihoods.

3. Inadequate reflection of CBDR

CBDR is one of the core principles of the UNFCCC. The mandate of the ADP is “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties”. According to the very mandate of the Paris agreement, the Paris agreement should fully respect the Convention principles. Yet, the language proposed in this new text clearly waters down this core legal principle, allowing developed countries to avoid their responsibilities of providing support to developing countries to both mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as to take the lead globally in ambitious emissions reductions .

CBDR is a critical pillar of multilateralism, framing the nature of the responsibilities of developed and developing countries in the pursuit of sustainable development. It underscores the universality of the Paris agreement as well as the need, on principled and practical grounds, for differentiation of responsibilities between historical and ‘new’ emitters. Universality of the Paris agreement ensures that all states —rich and poor alike—commit to taking concrete actions to meet the ultimate objective of the Convention. CBDR ensures that the share of the responsibilities to take these actions be just and equitable, based on varying and diverse degrees of historical responsibility, national capacity, resources, levels of development and effective influence. Based on this differentiation, developed countries have far greater responsibility to deliver actionable means of implementation across the relevant areas of financial resources, technology and capacity development. The principle of CBDR is therefore not an excuse for inaction on the part of developing countries; it merely contextualizes their responsibilities.

According to this legal principle, the WGC has been advocating for developed countries to provide the means of implementation needed by developing countries to achieve their mitigation emissions reduction target. The new co-Chairs non-paper shifts away the legal responsibility of developed countries and does not mention even once CBRD in relation to mitigation action. Additionally, the only mention of support to developing countries in their shift towards low-emission pathways is now in Article 3 (12) that simply states: ”Developing country Parties are eligible for support in the implementation of this Article”, without addressing whom this support will come from nor any accountability or obligation for these provisions.

4. Insufficient attention to rights-based adaptation

To be relevant, adaptation action must take into account differences between people through a right-based approach, especially in terms of differential risk, adaptation ability, exposure and vulnerability. This includes adopting a gender approach, and we deplore the weakening of the language proposed which now only “acknowledge[s]” this crucial adaptation component, instead of requiring adaptation actions to be “country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory and fully transparent, take into account vulnerable groups and ecosystems, be based on science and traditional and indigenous knowledge, and promote the engagement of subnational and local authorities and other stakeholders”.

5. Imbalanced reflection on key issues

The current proposal is clearly imbalanced towards the views and perspectives of developed countries, including the critical issue of Loss and Damage. Irreversible loss and damage caused by climate change goes beyond adaptation and is already a reality for many Parties resulting in forced displacement, loss of land and territorial integrity and resulting in breaches of social and economic rights. This is a long-standing developing countries’ priority, and especially for small island states and LDCs, and in the face of the gigaton gap left unreduced by the INDC approach it is even more urgently needed, meanwhile, it is currently only reflected in one paragraph. We reiterate the necessity for loss and damage to be anchored as a standalone element that is separate and distinct from adaptation, and for a special provision to fast-track urgent action required to assist the most affected and vulnerable people that are already experiencing existential threats and human rights violations from climate change.

6. Finance must be new and additional

Climate finance should help developing countries to face the impacts of climate change and to curb their GHG emissions. There is no mention of the fact that climate finance should be new and additional to pre-existing commitments, including ODA and that it has to be delivered in a gender-responsive way (as several Geneva text options had suggested).

Developed countries have committed to disburse $100 billion to developing countries by 2020. Yet the draft text contains no elements that would allow clarity and certainty on a time-table for scaling up from current disbursement levels to the full amount of the money pledged. Nor does it contain any reference to mechanisms to re-evaluate and review fulfilled finance commitments in regular intervals with a view to a significant scaling up of funding beyond 2020 whereas the needs of developing countries are evaluated to be far greater. Instead of clarifying the key role of public finance provision as the core of previous climate finance pledges, the new draft elevates private finance contributions to be counted as part of climate finance, stating “the desirability of a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources, noting the need for a diversity of sources and instruments to fit recipients’ changing economic circumstances”. The main goal of private finance is fundamentally to profit private corporations interests – some of them, the “carbon majors”, collectively responsible for worst contributions to the climate crisis -, not to genuinely support affected communities to cope with climate change. However, the issue of innovative finance sources, such as a carbon levy of corporate polluters, is not further developed. The new draft also allows climate finance to be disbursed in the forms of debt-creating mechanisms, adding further burden to the already highly indebted developing country economies.

7. Technology must be safe, appropriate and environmentally, economically and socially sound

The current co-Chairs non-paper is missing several critical elements which had been raised in the Geneva discussions under the ADP. For the WGC, this particularly includes mandates in the new agreement on the quality of the technologies which will be implemented to advance climate action, calling for “safe, appropriate and environmentally, economically and socially sound adaptation and mitigation technologies.” This language from the Geneva text needs to be brought back into the language of the agreement as well as language in regard to gender-differentiated technology needs and traditional technologies already used by local communities, including women.

We are also missing progressive language on assessment of appropriate technologies, such as language proposed in Geneva: “Technology assessment to ensure civil society participation with a gender perspective, and integrate a multilateral, independent and participatory evaluation of technologies for their social, economic and environmental impacts.”

The WGC has been actively monitoring the ADP and we have heard a number of countries – most of them developing countries – supporting the points raised here.

We have heard countries that refuse to give up as our civilization is facing one of the biggest challenges ever. We have heard countries that are asking for the ones that created the damage to repair it. We have heard countries that value enough human rights and gender equality to strive for them in every future climate actions designed and implemented.

When will the process hear and reflect these view?

-The Women and Gender Constituency

LASGAT Decries Poor Women’s Representation in Elective Positions

PRESS RELEASE BY LAGOS STATE GENDER ADVOCACY TEAM (LASGAT)

The Lagos State Gender and Advocacy Team (LASGAT), congratulates all candidates who contested and won in the just concluded 2015 general elections. LASGAT particularly congratulate all women who won elections into elective positions nationwide.

We are however  deeply concerned that the outcomes of the 2015 elections has produced less than 10% of women in elective positions nationwide resulting in a marked reversal in women’s representation in elective position compared to past years. This situation no doubt is discouraging and could lead to the further marginalization of women in politics and public life in future.

Nevertheless, LASGAT still believes that the low representation of women in elective positions can be addressed by giving women the opportunity to serve in appointive positions in government.

LASGAT hereby ,calls on the federal and states government to increase the representation of women in appointive positions by ensuring that women occupy  nothing less than 50% of all appointive positions in Nigeria.

LASGAT has a list of qualified women in all spheres of human endeavour who can be appointed to serve the country. LASGAT is ready to work with the Federal and States Government to recommend credible and qualified women for appointive positions.

Meanwhile, we call on all successful candidates   to leverage on the opportunities provided by their victory at the 2015 polls to pursue requisite measures to mainstream gender equality and promote women’s empowerment in all their undertakings as representatives of the people.

Dr Keziah Awosika                                  Ms Titilope Akosa

Chairperson LASGAT                             Coordinator LASGAT

.

Press Statement on the Xenophobic Attacks by South Africans on Foreign Nationals in their Country.

For Immediate Release

20th April 2015

Press Statement Issued by the State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform (SOTU-N-CAMP) on the Xenophobic Attacks by South Africans on Foreign Nationals in their Country.

Preamble

The State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform (SOTU-N-CAMP) is the Nigerian national platform of State of the Union (SOTU), which is an Africa continental campaign that demands and strengthens Nigerian Citizen’s participation in policy development, implementation and monitoring within the African Union (AU). SOTU-N-CAMP comprises 29 Civil Society Organizations working extensively across all governance thematic areas. 

Following the barbarous, erratic and most inhumane xenophobic attacks meted out by South Africans in what the world has commonly renounced and lambasted, the State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform deems it fit to issue this statement.

Text

The State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform is deeply saddened by the current spate of gross misconduct, astonishing cruelty and brutal attacks being perpetuated by certain unscrupulous elements of the South African populace which has led to the loss of lives and properties of non nationals carrying on legitimate businesses and living peacefully within stipulated confines and provisions of the Laws of the South African State.

SOTU-N-CAMP notes with profound regret the conduct of these sets of criminals and calls on the South African government to as a matter of scurried urgency institute all duly recognized government mechanisms and willpower to nip in the bud all manner of xenophobic attacks and every trace similar to racial intolerance that is fast becoming a trend within South African.

While the attacks which for the want of a better word within the English lexicon is best described as gruesome have continued in the last couple of days without any meaningful end in sight, the South African people have mostly looked-on with the governments’ condemnation and deployment of security personnel on the streets clearly lacking the much needed deterrent to halt the attacks.

SOTU-N-CAMP calls on the government and people of South Africa to at this extreme and critical moment adorn the strength of character and its entire semblance that such challenging situations demand in ensuring that these attacks are brought to an immediate stop.

This platform recalls with severe depression the enormous contributions Nigeria and other well meaning African countries made to South Africa during the perfidious apartheid regime that lasted several decades. We note that this was done in the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood and are deeply concerned of the insistence of South Africans to carry on such crimes that shock the very existence of humanity in the name of xenophobia. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, we call on the South African Government in particular and the international community as a whole to be constantly reminded of the Responsibility to Protect under International Law and several global, continental and regional instruments. The South African government must go beyond mere condemnation to institute every necessary deterrent measure that any disciplined government must have as a monopoly.

While we also call on the African Union to begin all necessary inquiries into these continued attacks as a number of such attacks have been both reported and unreported in time past, we must also pass the message to these sets of common criminals trying to place the good people of South Africa in bad light of the dangers they put their countrymen/women across the globe due to reprisal attacks. 

Signed

Barr. Ken Ukaoha                                               Austin Erameh

Chairman, SOTU-N-CAMP                    Secretary, SOTU-N-CAMP

A Time To Take Action

IMG_0560-0A TIME TO TAKE ACTION: DEMANDS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS THE MISSING CHIBOK GIRLS AND THE DEEPENING CRISIS IN THE NORTHEAST

A Press Statement by the IAMCHIBOK Coalition on the One Year Commemoration of the Chibok Girls Abductions April 14th 2015

 

On April 14th, 2014, 276 school girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, North East Nigeria. One year later 219 girls are still missing. Despite international outcry, the situation that surrounds the abductions of the girls has deteriorated to a deepening crisis in the North East of Nigeria. We strongly condemn the crimes against children, women and men, further abductions of persons, the use of girl children as suicide bombers, the onslaught of sexual slavery and sexual violence, the attacks on human life and dignity, the targeting of educational and religious institutions and the continued insecurity.

 

We are dismayed by the government’s failure to respond to the social and psychological crisis of parents and families of the abducted girls, many of whom have died in the last year. We ask for urgent attention to be paid to the millions of Nigerians impacted by the crisis most of whom are in need of protection and care.  We condemn the abuses against women and children in IDP camps which should be a haven of safety.

 

We further decry the failure of the Nigerian government to address the systemic issues underlying the crisis including the low level of development in Northern Nigeria which has created a fertile ground for extremism and social discontent. We note the urgent need to address the long term implications of the crises, including girl-child education, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers and the impact of the insurgency on community stability, agriculture and food security.

 

We welcome efforts by the United Nations and the international community including the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). We take note of various regional, continental and international efforts including the Paris Summit and other regional summits including the resolutions of the AUPSC, the United Nations Security Council, the larger UN body and various national legislative bodies. Lastly we hope for the immediate implementation of their resolutions to combat terrorism in the region.

 

OUR DEMANDS

We hereby call for the creation of a comprehensive, systematic ACTION PLAN FOR THE RESTORATION OF NORTHEASTERN NIGERIA to address the short and long term implications of the crisis, facilitate the rescue of the Chibok girls and other abducted persons, rehabilitate and reintegrate them, restore families and reconstruct communities while putting in place concrete measures to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again. We hereby make the following demands:

 

1)     RESPONSE AND RESCUE

We commend the establishment of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNTJF) and recommend that all necessary support be given to support its operations. MTNJF is a critical instrument for ensuring effective resolution to the occupation of cities, towns and villages and the rescue of the Chibok girls and other abducted persons. We urge the operationalisation of the the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC), the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC). We recommend the set up of a SPECIAL MISSION FOR THE SEARCH AND RESCUE OF ABDUCTED PERSONS under the MNJTF to ensure that all missing persons are found and rescued and restored to Nigerian soil, where necessary.

 

2)     REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OF VICTIMS

We recommend the establishment of a SPECIAL TASK FORCE FOR THE REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OF PERSONS as a joint operation of the National Emergency Management Agency, the National Human Rights Commission and other relevant Agencies. The Task Force will be charged with putting in place adequate support structures for the complete rehabilitation and reintegration of all victims, refugees and internally displaced persons. It will manage the Victim Supports Fund and can establish, among other programmes, a FAMILY TRACING AND REUNIFICATION PROGRAMME (FTR). We demand the comprehensive identification of victims’ bodies through DNA testing and the compensation for all families who have lost members in the crisis.  The immediate set up of HEALING CAMPS AND HEALING CENTRES for the holistic rehabilitation of persons who have suffered from abuse and trauma with qualified mental health practitioners and other relevant professionals must be a priority.

 

3)     RESTORATION OF COMMUNITIES

We demand documentation of the activities of the Victim Support Fund and drastic improvements in the situation of Internally Displaced Persons with systematic and time-bound actions to restore communities and rebuild livelihoods and the collapsed education system under a POST CONFLICT SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY LIVELIHOODS PROGRAMME.  We recommend the expansion of the SAFE SCHOOLS INITIATIVE to include interim schooling for IDP children and the restoration of the education system in all affected states. We recommend the creation of a CIVL-SOCIETY PRIVATE SECTOR COALITION to increase and mainstream civil society and private sector participation under the coordination of the National Human Rights Commission with support of development partners and the private sector.

 

4)     JUSTICE AND TRANSPARENCY

We call for the establishment of PUBLIC HEARINGS modeled after the process in Rwanda after the genocide, which will allow persons to tell their stories and have these stories documented as crimes against persons and communities. We recommend the establishment of a CIVILIAN COMPLAINTS REGISTER in which citizens can make complaints and document crimes under the National Human Rights Commission. We demand a SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY ON THE ROLE OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT IN PROTECTING CIVILIANS to investigate the role of the Nigerian government and cases in which it has neglected to protect its citizens during the years of Boko Haram insurgency and occupation.

 

5)     PREVENTION

We demand for the immediate set up of a comprehensive EARLY WARNING AND RESPONSE SYSTEM and support of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).  We urge for the immediate set up of a NATIONAL CHILD HELPLINE. We recommend the creation of a Local Government REGISTER OF CITIZENS and advocate for the strengthening of HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS within the country which would include support for the training of Armed Forces in Human Rights with strict adherence to international laws guiding military action and conduct with civilian populations. We recommend the set up of comprehensive governmental and non-governmental programmes to support the development of children and youth and their social and economic inclusion and the establishment of counter-terrorism mechanisms within Nigeria, ECOWAS and the ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF CENTRAL AFRICAN STATES (ECCAS).

 

As members of civil society we commit ourselves to continued advocacy for the above demands while at the same time putting in place programmes and projects to assist in our own capacity. We offer the collective assistance and expertise of hundreds of civil society organizations around the world and thousands of individual volunteers who have selflessly advocated for the cause of the girls to work with the Nigerian government, the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, the ECCAS  and all related international and national agencies and organizations to make the rescue of the Chibok Girls and other captives a reality while ensuring that what has taken place NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. We believe that these actions will lead us closer to the rescue of the Chibok girls and the restoration of peace and stability in North Eastern Nigeria. A nation is only strong when it protects its weak.

 

 

Signed:

 

 

R. Nanre Nafziger-Mayegun

Hafsat Abiola-Costello

Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli

Professor Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome

Habiba Balogun

Dr. Nnenna Mba-Oduwusi

Steve Bisi Aborisade

Ngozi Obigwe

Samirah Farouk

Titilope Akosa

Ramaa Mosley

Pamela Braide

Adeola Awogbami

Amy Oyekunle

Fadekemi Akinfaderin-Agarau

Feyi Boroffice

Biola Alabi

Olayide Akanni

Victor Adejoh

Magaji Buba

Osayi Alile

 

 

For IAMCHIBOK COALITION

PRESS RELEASE ON GUBERNATORIAL AND STATE

 

 

 

Issued: By the Women’s Situation Room-Nigeria

Date:   Saturday, 11th April 2015

 

The Women’s Situation Room-Nigeria (WSR-Nigeria) is observing the elections for the Governorship and the State House of Assemblies in nine (9) states covering the six (6) geo-political zones in Nigeria. The WSR-Nigeria perceived that with the announcement of the Presidential elections and the stakes becoming higher, the potential for violence would grow higher hence the need for early warning and early response pre, during and after the April 11th elections. This led to the setting up of a second physical Situation Room in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, one of the states identified as a flashpoint for violence.

 

Reports coming from our observers and the general public indicate that generally, the commencement of accreditation started on time as the INEC officials arrived in good time and the massive failure of the card readers reported during the Presidential election was minimal. The WSR-Nigeria however notes with concern electoral malpractices that were experienced in some polling units across the country; in Nasarawa State, we received reports of the electorates being chased away and mass thumb printing being done by unknown persons; in Anambra State in Ekwusigo LGA we received a report of the elections materials being seized at the RAC center; in Jigawa State there were incidents of the destruction of card readers by a political party and snatching of ballot boxes,while in Edo State there were reports of buying of votes on the queue by some political parties.

 

Reports of violence ranging from arson, violence against women, shootings, intimidation by heavily armed men have come in from Abia, Nasarawa, Rivers, Abia, Lagos, Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Imo, Gombe, Benue and Akwa Ibom States. There were reports of violence committed against the police from Rumola and Ogu-Bolu both in Rivers State.

 

General:

We are concerned about the blatant electoral malpractices being perpetrated with impunity by political parties and its corresponding violence, putting the safety and security of women and Nigerians in general, in jeopardy.

 

We commend the INEC for being resolute in pursuing the implementation of the Electoral process, as indicated by reports of improved performance of the card readers and commencement of accreditation and voting processes to mention a few. We further call on INEC to maintain its integrity of the electoral process and do the right thing without fear or favour.

 

We call on the security forces to close ranks and amplify their efforts to uphold the rule of law and ensure the safety and security of lives and property.

 

Lastly,but certainly not least,we call on political parties to put Nigeria first.

 

 

Contact information:

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