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Two days capacity building training in Calabar on Strengthening the Capacity of CSOs /Groups

Two days capacity building training in Calabar on Strengthening the Capacity of CSOs /Groups , Media on Leadership, Monitoring, Gender Budgeting to Hold MDAs Accountable on Sustainable Response and Prevention of VAWG and to Promote SRHR for Women and Girls”. Date: 12th and 13th March 2020 Venue: Channelsview Hotel Calabar 16th &17th March in Abakaliki #SpotlightEndViolence #SpotlightNG

The Women’s’ International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) held a training for selected CSOs who are key partners in the implementation of the Spotlight project in Cross River State on 12th – 13th March, 2020 at Channel View Hotel while in Abakaliki on the 16th-17th of March, 2020 at Cirenes Hotel.


The objectives of the training were as follows:

  • To build / enhance the advocacy skills of the Women CSOs/networks/ coalitions
  • To strengthen the leadership skills of Women CSOs/networks/ coalitions to demand for sustainable response and prevention of VAWG/SGBV/HP and to promote SRHR of women and girls.
  • To build the capacity of Women CSOs/networks/ coalitions to demand for and support a participatory process in the response and prevention of VAWG/SGBV/HP and the promotion of SRHR for women and girls.

Methodologies used during the training were as follows:

  • Self-assessment test (pre/post)
  • Plenary discussions
  • Group work and report back exercises
  • Individual writing exercise


Topics highlighted during the training were:

  • Building Transformative Leadership
  • Understanding Gender Norms
  • Self-Awareness: Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender Budgeting
  • Sexual Gender Based Violence
  • Understanding Gender Based Violence
  • Advocacy: Using Advocacy tools to hold government agencies accountable
  • Understanding Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights





The workshop commenced with registration of participants which started at about 10:20am. Following the registration , the administrative officer WILPF Nigeria Ms Oluchi welcomed the participants while also appreciating the participants for coming. She further stated that the meeting was crucial in assisting CSOs build and enhance their capacity on issues that are important in ensuring they hold government agencies accountable to issues concerning women especially as it concerns violence against women and girls and sexual and gender-based violence. The facilitator took time out to explain the objectives of the training and appealed to participants to pay attention and take active part in the workshop. This was closely followed by participants taking time to fill the pre-assessment forms.



The day’s session was formally opened with an opening prayer led one of the participants. This was followed by introduction of the facilitators and participants and also appointment of the day’s rapporteur.


Part of the output is that it is expected that CSOs present will start sharing resources as well as carry out joint advocacies to relevant government agencies and harness the opportunities of working together as a team. Hoping that no CSO will work in isolation hoping this will assist in ending the GBV incidences.


Transformative Leadership


The facilitator spoke on the chosen  topic saying it is imperative as it  will assist women gain or enhance their leadership skills, as it was an essential skill for women in leadership positions.


The session proper started with the definition of a leader as one who influences a group of people toward the achievement of a goal/goals.

The facilitator further expanded on the leadership styles which she referred to as characteristic behaviour of a leader when directing, motivating guiding and managing group of people. She outline the six leadership styles to include


Participants were then divided into groups to take part in a group work.


The scenario for group work was:


All participants are in a desert which is very far in a remote place, can we come up with 5 things we have agreed to discuss and agree that will be essential for our survival. What are the essential things we need for survival?


Report back on what they learnt from the group work?


  • Worked individually and discussed as a group to assist them achieve their goal
  • Teamwork was crucial
  • Communication skills was very important
  • Learnt to listen to one another
  • They had to come up with strategy to carry everyone along



The facilitator stated that the  exercise was important to assist women develop good communication skills, as transformative leaders must have great communication skills, a transformative leader recognizes that there must be that collective efforts to arrive at an agreement thus pointing to the fact that we must all learn to work as a team. He/she is not an all-knowing leader. A transformative leader knows that to get good changes then you must get people to buy into the idea and be willing to give their ideas and support the cause. Some qualities of a transformational leader are:


The facilitator then carried out an exercise on active listening skills, where she encouraged a volunteer to share a story on how a problem was solved.


Understanding Gender Norms


The facilitator started by asking the participants their understanding on the terminologies before going into defining them, citing examples for better understanding. She defined gender as Roles and responsibilities and behaviors that are socially constructed to define a man or a woman and is peculiar to each society and community And Norms are rules that guide some behaviors and attitudes of males and females. She added that Gender is different from sex and it defines what has been established by the society. Sex is biological and gender is socially constructed.


Gender Stereotypes


Is the biased judgment that the society gives to a group of persons based on their gender.. For example:

  • Girls must cook while boys should play football
  • Boys are more hardworking while girls are lazy
  • Boys should do a lot better in school than females
  • Women should be accommodating and emotional while the men should be aggressive and violent
  • Women must cry and men must be strong


Gender Budgeting


On Gender budgeting, the facilitatpr explained  as one of the tools that is used to promote equality. It can also be called gender responsive budgeting. Budgets are estimate of what is proposed to be spent and can be passed by law. Gender budgeting is looking at the budget from a gender lens, example is the building of market stalls by men without toilet facilities and adding crèches to workspaces so women can feel comfortable returning to work after giving birth.


Gender budgeting can be defined as a gender-based assessment of budgets incorporating a gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditure in other to promote gender equality.


Usually it means x-raying the budget from a gender point of view, it has been realized in the past that government budget does not carry along women needs. The budget should lead to gender equality one way or the other. It is important to highlight issues that affect women in the budget and this should address ways that women grow, especially in ways that builds the informal sector where women work and are able to thrive. These sessions is also to bring insight to the fact that women can not just protest without understanding the role the budget plays in addressing these issues and understanding that the budget is a critical tool for advocacy.


Why is it important to do gender budgeting?

  • It is important to make the government accountable to gender equality issues
  • When you do gender budgeting you make the government sit up and have a tool for engagement
  • To assist government agencies budget for women needs


Factors that enable gender budgeting:

  • Political will and leadership
  • High level of commitment from public administrative institutions in listening to issues on gender related budgets
  • Improved capacity of civil servants





The second day started with an opening prayer and a process gathering of the recap of striking ideas participants learnt the previous day and some ideas shared were:



Understanding Sexual and Gender Based Violence

What does the participants understand by Sexual and Gender-based Violence?

Participants comments:


What does Gender Based Violence mean?

  • A violence done against an individual
  • Harmful practices done against a person as a result of the person’s sex



It is a social change process affecting attitude especially when it affects issues. It is an action that brings about social changes. Advocacy is a way of positively affecting power relations in ways that affect social changes. Advocacy is not a one-off activity; it is a series of engagements with different stakeholders to change attitudes, actions, decisions and policies.


Purpose for advocacy

Changes attitudes and behaviors towards a particular issue

Changes in policies in the community

Empowering communities to influence decisions that affect the community


Developing an advocacy plan

Identify a problem

Analyze the problem

What do you think is the solution?

What is the end goal pertaining to the problem?

Identify the needed skills and resources

Identify the allies and supporters


Participants were divided into groups and they had to work on the above stated issue.

The various groups dealt on the following topics

  • Group 1: Child Marriage
  • Group 2: Access to Childbirth Spacing/Family Planning
  • Group 3: Gender budgeting
  • Group 4: FGM and Its Complications

After lunch, the participant reconvened for the  group work presentation starting from group 1Comments and inputs were entertained after each group presentation.

This brought the sessions for the day to an end. Then the facilitators appreciated the participants for doing nice work during the group work and for their active participants and contributions throughout the training period.

Then closing formalities were observed as anchored by Oluchi of WILPF. Post-test assessment were administered and collected and then Tobenna on behalf of the participants gave a vote of thanks before leading at closing prayer which officially brought the workshop to a close at 4:37 pm.

Participants then presented their advocacy plans.

Report back on advocacy plans


What is the place of sex work in the society? How does this affect the society?

Should condoms be made available in school?



Talking to the CSW about safe sex and providing an alternative livelihood for them


The 2 days workshop ended with a vote of thanks by participants, housekeeping information by the WILPF administrative officer and a closing remark by the facilitators who thanks everyone for being very engaging throughout the 2 days training.