Any questions ?

Phone 202 303 405

Stakeholders Consultative Dialogue in Ebonyi and Cross River State

WILPF Nigeria in implementing one of its key activities on the UN spotlight initiative organised a one day consultative multi sectoral stake holder dialogue on addressing issues on VAWG / SGBV / HP/SRHR in Cross River State on the 7th of febraury 2020 at channels view hotel calabar and in Ebonyi State on the 4th of february 2020 at Mona Bliss hotel Abakaliki.
 The objectives of the dialogue were to :
 1.Discuss the planned interventions in the state in detail.
 2.Share data and analysis from the field pin pointing what has been on ground, what failed, gaps and what can be done moving forward
 3.Get feedbacks that will guide the intervention design and implementation.
 4.Strengthen collaboration with different key stakeholders .
 #SpotlightEndViolence #spotlightNG

The Women’s’ International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in getting more insight on prevalence and incidences of violence against girls and women as well as harmful traditional practices, held a consultative forum in Ebonyi on the 4th of February and in Calabar, Cross River State on 7th February 2020. The forum was attended by ( Males/ Females) participants. Participants were mainly drawn from civil society representatives who have been implementing gender related projects, some representatives have long standing experience on implementing gender-based violence projects and or presently responding to violence against women and girls’ issues in various capacities, people living with disability, deaf people community and  representatives of government agencies were also present to give insight on a collaborative GBV response mechanism.

The meeting started with an opening prayer by a participant followed by introductions of participants present. This was quickly followed by a welcome address by Dr. Joy Iyom, Country Director, WILPF. In her welcome address she stated that WILPF Nigeria is a non-governmental organization created in response to a country faced with multidimensional problems related to women’s discrimination and challenges to their participation in peace and security. She said the organization is set to build women’s capacity at the community, state and national level and enables them to be a part of a global network of a diverse women peace builder working towards gender equality and sustainable development.

She stated that the design and implementation of the Spotlight Initiative was critical to assisting men and especially women address the linkages between sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices, find ways to deal with the challenges and create mechanisms to responds to these issues using a cross-cutting theme of broad range of stakeholders, from individuals all the way to community and national government leaders.

She further stated that the Spotlight project is being implemented across  6 states of the federation  with Cross River and Ebonyi State inclusive and was glad to be part of the road to positive changes in the state. Some objectives of the consultative forum she mentioned were:

  • To bring together different stakeholders working on SGBV/VAWG/HP and crosscutting issues.
  • To have a context of the emerging issues on SGBV / VAWG / HP
  • To strengthen communication and coordination on Reporting and Response Mechanism (RRM)
  • To have a situational analysis of the use of the existing social accountability mechanism by CSOs to monitor and engage in ending SGBV / VAWG / HP
  • To get feedbacks that will guide the intervention design and implementation in both project states


She further made known to the participants on the objective of the project which the organization (WILPF Nigeria) sets out to achieve which she listed as ;

  • To build the capacity of key government officials at national and/or sub-national levels in all relevant institutions to develop and deliver evidence-based programs in preventing and responding to VAWG/SGBV/HPs.
  • To ensure easy communication and effective coordination, as well as to receive and respond to cases of VAWG/SGBV/HPs. establish and strengthen a multi-stakeholder Coordination Team to include state and non-state actors, key stakeholders, implementing partners, representatives of marginalizes groups, and multi-sectorial government institutions.
  • To ease the process of reporting cases of VAWG/SGBV/HP by establishing a Reporting and Response Monitoring (RRM) mechanism, such that is accessible and user-friendly.
  • To ensure women have access to VAWG/SGBV/HP information, resources, and support services by creating a database of all service providers in different localities across the state; as well as forming support groups at the grassroots/community level.
  • To strengthen girls- and women-focused CSOs and other stakeholders on preventing VAWG/SGBV/HP and promoting SRHR.

She went further to give a detailed explanation on WILPF Nigeria list of activities ahead of the project. Context Analysis, Mapping Of Stakeholders, Advocacies. Dialogues, Needs Assessment, Development Of  Training Modules, Validation / Pilot Of Training Modules, Trainings, Networks / Support Groups, Monitoring And Evaluation And Documentation And Reporting

In her presentation, the country director reiterated on the need for the dialogue and why the organization are working with CSOs as it is part of their expected outcome to have a strengthened CSO group especially those working with people living with disability, survivors of violence, living with HIV/AIDS in the state and also as they are expert who has been working in the state overtime they will have more knowledge about issues on ground.

She ended her speech by stating that the CSOs present were selected based on the situation and mapping analysis done on the prevalence of SGBV in Cross River and Ebonyi State and hope that the forum will create more insight that will be useful for the implementation of the forum.

The participant were asked to pick a number and then  shared into four different groups to discuss on the topic “ contextual/ emerging issues on SGBV/VAWG/HP/SRHR in the state, to identify who is doing what, challenges faced, gaps and way forward“ . Each group was told to get a chair person who coordinates the group and one who will come present what the group has worked on.

The Outputs from the Group Work  in both states on emerging issues are;

  • Early sexual initiation amongst young people
  • Easy access to pornographic materials including pictures and videos
  • Increased incidences of sexual abuse amongst minors especially young girls
  • Inadequate access to correct information on SRHR
  • Unsafe sexual behaviors including bondage discipline dominance and submission (BDSM) in the school community
  • The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Child marriage in most rural areas
  • Exclusion of women in key decision making processes
  • Indecent dressing
  • Zero implementation of the FGM/child marriage law
  • No referral pathway for GBV incidences
  • No access to SRHR issues bothering persons with disability
  • No intervention on SRHR issues for people living with disability
  • Child prostitution
  • Drug abuse and addiction
  • Forced marriage/Teenage pregnancy
  • Wife Battery
  • More incidence of sexual abuse cases where perpetrators are family members or relatives.
  • Teachers sexually abusing students especially female students
  • Low attendance of girls in school than boys
  • Harmful traditional practices like: Child Bride, Child Labour and Wife inheritance
  • Baby factory which is prevalent in Calabar South
  • Child Abandonment
  • Widowhood rights
  • Sex trafficking
  • Insecurity
  • Hawking linked to a high rate of sexual abuse
  • Sex for grades
  • Communal clash leading to violence against women and girl





Some of the highlight of challenges faced by the participats are summed as ;

  • Culture of silence on victims limiting CSOs to work; this can also lead to self-stigmatization
  • Culture and tradition of the people is a major challenge as this is usually deep rooted in the communities and hard to put an end to. example gender stereotype
  • Family interference during the prosecution of sexual abuse cases
  • Inadequate enforcement of the available law using the justice system

Poor enforcement of policies and laws on GBV/VAGW/HP

  • Poor access to systems and places to report GBV incidences
  • Threat of lives of CSOs workers who report GBV cases
  • Fear of stigmatization of survivors
  • Illegal extortion of money from uniform person while reporting cases of GBV to the various uniform agency. Example The Nigerian Police
  • Inducement of victims by violator’s families for the victim to withdraw the case from court
  • Lack of functional forensic center to facilitate DNA test during GBV cases
  • Lack of political will to implement government policies
  • No functional database for reporting and referring GBV related cases
  • No SOPs to guide GBV response
  • Prolonged Litigation of perpetrators.
  • Delayed response by government agency on GBV related issues
  • No proper follow up of survivors for reintegration into the system
  • Unfriendly government policies especially for CSO
  • Illiteracy and language barriers especially at community level



Accountability Mechanism

On accountability mechanisms In both state the Participant listed the following;

  • Strict implementation of the law
  • Create a uniform standard in access and maintaining data for GBV cases
  • GBV policies are existence
  • Child Rights law
  • Widowhood inheritance law
  • Child Protection Network uses its platform to work with government agencies to collate and distribute data
  • GBV center in the ministry of women collaborates with CSOs to respond to GBV issues
  • Network to curb sexual abuse is a network of various CSOs working on GBV issues
  • Gender Technical Working Group
  • CSOs use referrals and reporting mechanism to track cases, report and prosecute perpetrators on behalf of survivors
  • Cross River State Law against FGM/Early Marriage
  • Cross River State Law to prohibit domestic violence against girls and women
  • Cross River State law against Stigma & Discrimination of People Living with HIV/AIDS 2010



The participant identified and listed the following;

  • Ministry of justice in charge of drafting the laws prosecution of violators
  • Ministry of women affairs and social development Protect interest of women, children vulnerable groups
  • Police , they arrest, secure lives and properties and prosecute
  • Ministry of budget planning research and monitoring they make budget for provision of financial support to all ministers and parastatals concerned, handle research and documentation .
  • Judiciary, they determine fate of violators according to laid down laws
  • House of assembly they make laws
  • National orientation agency they create awareness on what violations means, the laws and policies on the ground
  • Ministry of health provide health care and issues surrounding SRHR
  • Prisons which are called correction centers serves as custody of violators/ children correction center from a year to17 years
  • NGOs such as legal aid council FIDA, human rights have same mission
  • Listed some NGOs working on VAWG,SGBV,HP SRHR in both states



  • Inadequate implementation of available laws
  • Poor co-ordination among stakeholders on issues bordering on sexual gender-based violence
  • Inadequate budgeting system
  • Inadequate reporting and referral systems
  • No budget allocation for GBV related issues in the state

What can be done differently?

  • Strengthening MDAs and local government area coordination system
  • Capacity building on managing GBV related incidences
  • Adequate implementation of the already existing laws
  • SOPs for case management should be developed and distributed


What worked

  • Counseling for GBV survivors
  • Formation of peer groups
  • Community dialogues
  • Constant provision of post exposure prophylaxis at health facilities
  • Enabling environment for cases to be reported
  • Re-unification with families/relations
  • Provision of transit bay for young women
  • Carrying out sensitization and awareness on GBV issues
  • Availability of some level of reproductive health services


What did not work

  • No financing for the ministries to carry out capacity building events.
  • No synergy amongst CSOs in responding to GBV related issues
  • Lack of commitment amongst members
  • Lack of sustainability of project gains in the various communities
  • Inadequate information sharing amongst stakeholders
  • Inadequate prompt response from the various government agencies to GBV related cases
  • Poor GBV cases documentation
  • No allocation from government to continue to provide free medical assistance to GBV survivors
  • Under reporting of cases
  • Inadequate start-up grant for women to start up small businesses after entrepreneurship trainings
  • Poor release of gender related budget line by the government


  • CSOs to build synergy with government agencies to hasten response to GBV related issues and build a strong alliance
  • A structured platform where all CSOs in the state can belong and will be coordinating and overseeing their activities
  • CSOs should work more closely with line ministries so they can introduce CSOs to the communities and LGA staff
  • All CSOs should endeavor to carry the LGA council along while planning for implementation of programs to ensure there is some form of sustainability on the projects
  • Government and non-state partners should see themselves as development partners towards the growth of communities and not see CSOs as grant agencies
  • Develop a strong networking system between CSOs and government agencies
  • Develop a robust data collation and sharing mechanism on GBV related incidences
  • Ensure there is constant communication with the relevant agency while implementing a project at the community level.
  • Capacities of government agencies as well as CSOs should be built on collating, referring and reporting GBV related cases.
  • Training in areas of prosecution, laws for institutions as this will bring them closer to CSOs
  • A time frame for handling VAWG cases that way victims will know what they are going into and how long it will take for justice will be given to them
  • Create a directory that has related medical, legal and psychological support services for survivors.
  • Frequent dialogue and workshop trainings for CSOs as this will strengthen their capacities
  • Facilitating community based bye laws on issues surrounding SGBV


The country director WILPF Nigeria concluded the consultative dialogue by appreciating the participant for their time, patience and substantive participation. Also to those who honored the invitation to the dialogue. She further restated the need for a coordination committee and steering committee which will be a sustainability plan for the project of strengthening CSOs capacity. She went further to state the mandate of this coordination committee which will include closing the gap strengthening collaboration between CSOs and government, documentation process. Training for community based organization at community levels. For the steering committee she stated that ministry of women affairs and social development and ministry of budget planning research monitoring ware the main ministries we will be working on. Alongside ministry of justice and state planning policy committee. She stated there will be various trainings for traditional/religious leader, CSOs, ministries, individual groups.

The meeting came to an end by 4;30pm with a vote of thanks by a participant and group photograph.