The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act is a law that guarantees protection of the rights of citizens from all forms of violence in Nigeria. The main thrust of the Law is to eliminate violence in private and public life; prohibit all forms of violence against persons – particularly women and girls who are disproportionately affected; […]
In 2019, Westminster Foundation for Democracy launched a two-year programme (2019-2021) to promote inclusion and build citizens’ capacity to demand open and transparent governance. The programme engaged representatives from political parties, civil society organisations and young volunteers who worked together to promote politics with values in the Nigerian political system and advance youth inclusion in the decision-making processes of political parties.
In Nigeria, young people make up 51% of registered voters, and women constitute 67%. The low or non-participation of this huge majority in decision-making processes stops their voices from being heard and their perspectives from being taken into account in the policies that directly impact their lives.
With the passage of the eligibility age law in May 2018, space was created for 18 to 35-year-olds, who constitute over 60% of the population, to be more involved in the governance process. However, the effects of this may not be immediate, as work still needs to be done to strengthen youth capacity to organise and be involved, bring positive values to, and change the face of politics. Political parties, including their youth wings, also need to be more inclusive, democratic and promote ideologies which will remove barriers to the emergence of women and young leaders.
Working with youth-focused civil society organisations, as well as formal youth bodies, Politics with Values (PwV) Network and the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF), the programme showed young people how they can support campaigns that advocate for greater youth participation and engage with political institutions. WFD and the UK political parties shared a range of experiences on youth participation from the UK and other countries where WFD works. The combination of grassroots campaigning and high-level advocacy helped address the low levels of youth participation and representation in Nigeria by encouraging more youth-led policy initiatives and better inter-generational partnerships.
Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), WFD was part of the consortium that implemented the flagship, five-year Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme. Working at the national level and in the 3 States of Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna, WFD supported constituencies to influence governments about the services they received, and any policies related to them. To achieve this, WFD supported the use of evidence-based research for policy recommendations related to the budget process in the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly in Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna, with lessons replicated in other State Assemblies. The consortium successfully supported the advocacy for state houses of assembly financial autonomy, and the developed implementation mechanism to be adopted by the state assemblies.
✓ Conducted the political economy analysis of the National Assembly (NASS) of Nigeria, and three State Assemblies (Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna) for effective engagement
✓ Worked with stakeholders to develop the implementation framework for financial autonomy of the State House of Assembly. This framework has become the operational tool for the respective 36 State Assemblies.
✓ Strengthened the capacities of the National Association of Public Accounts Committees in Nigeria (NAPAC). PAC Clerks now have better understanding of the presentation and consideration of the Auditor General’s reports and the processes and procedures to get relevant outcomes from Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
✓ Strengthened the capacities of stakeholders and State Assemblies to build consensus on the Audit Bill
Fighting discrimination against women, girls and other disadvantaged groups requires the development of an enabling environment – in which local decision-makers and civil society actors are better able to advance equality and inclusion in politics and society. Between October 2020 and March 2021, WFD and Kaleidoscope Trust (KT) implemented the Commonwealth Equality Project (CEP). The programme focused on exploring and strengthening gender equality, inclusion, and rights of marginalized groups through an inclusive policy development.
CEP supported the Oyo State House of Assembly to review the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill and pass same into law, sensitized stakeholders at the grassroots on the VAPP Act, and conducted a national research on the implementation of the act, as a guide for other states yet to domesticate it. The VAPP act provides a legal framework for the protection of all citizens – including vulnerable people such as women, girls, children, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
CEP was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) through the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF).
✓ Supported the Oyo State House of Assembly (OSHA) to review and pass the Oyo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law, which was translated into the local language of Yoruba, and the braille for the visually impaired.
✓ Conducted the first ever assessment of the VAPP Act and related laws protecting women and girls in 12 States of Nigeria
✓ Hosted, in partnership with the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Association against Gender Based Violence (NGWA-GBV), a consultative meeting of all First Ladies of the 36 States of Nigeria, to review the report on the VAPP Act and related laws against SGBV, which contributed to fast-tracking the adoption and passage of VAPP law across the States of Nigeria.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. To mitigate this challenge, huge changes at all levels of society, politics and businesses are required. From 1-12 November 2021, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, United Kingdom. COP26 is significant as it will be the first COP after the COVID-19 pandemic erupted and most countries will have to make a new pledge after the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Ahead of COP26, WFD and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) implemented a programme to inform parliamentarians in five Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, of COP26 issues. The programme, ran from January to June 2021, and supported parliamentarians in examining the national progress in delivering Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and in advancing their work in scrutinising national climate policies and legislations.
✓ Supported the House of Representatives Committee on Environment to interface with key stakeholders to review progress on Nigeria’s nationally determined commitments (NDCs)
✓ Strengthened the capacity of MPs and parliamentary staff of relevant committees of the National Assembly to evaluate progress and advance the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions on Climate Change
✓ Networked MPs in Nigeria with their colleagues sub-Saharan African for knowledge sharing on environment and COP26
WFD, with funding from the European Union, and in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) implemented a three-year programme christened #OurVoteCountsNG with the overall goal of increasing the participation of youths, women, and persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in elections. The programme contributed to this goal by creating awareness among underrepresented groups, using targeted messaging, conveyed through using peer-to-peer voter education strategy, about the electoral process, particularly in hard to reach communities. Working closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and women networks, the project built the confidence of citizens in the electoral process and made them realize the importance of their votes to the process. The peer-to-peer strategy entails building the capacity of young people to reach out and engage with their peers, as well as women reaching out to fellow women, thereby strengthening active, responsive, participatory, and engaged citizenry.
Local media coverage:
- Improving voter education to increase voter turnout in Nigeria
- Tackling violence against women and girls
- Supporting legislative response to COVID-19 Pandemic
- YEP launch
- Cost of Politics & Marginalized Groups
- West Africa Regional Cost of Politics Conference
- Gender budgeting
- Youth participation in governance
- Workshop on voter’s education for trainers
- Implementation of Open Government Partnership in Edo State
GDI per capita:
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time: temperatures are rising, drought and wildfires are occurring more frequently, rainfall patterns are shifting, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. To mitigate this, huge changes at all levels of society, politics and businesses are required. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the […]
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an upsurge of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases worldwide. In Nigeria, the May 2020 UN brief revealed that reported domestic violence cases in three states under total lockdown – Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) – saw a 297% increase from 60 to 238 between March and […]