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WSRN Media Launch Abuja 2016.


The media launch of Women Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) was held on the 21st June, 2016 at the Bolton White Hotels, Abuja. The meeting commenced with the citation of the first stanza of the National Anthem. Following, was the Opening remark by National Coordinator WANEP, Bridget Osakwe.

In the welcome address, Bridget Osakwe acknowledged Joy Onyesoh, the National Coordinator of WSRN and all stakeholders gathered for their quest and collaborations in the search for peaceful, non violent electoral processes in Nigeria and most importantly support for spaces for women to participate in decision making processes including political offices.

She also  stated that media launch is the one of the activities that have been earmarked for possible steps towards effective participation of women in politics without fear of violence. In addition, she mentioned the International instruments such as the UNSC Resolution 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889 mandating women’s active participation and involvement in peace and security at all levels and sectors both formal and informal as well as emphasizing the necessity of increase the participation of women in peace processes at decision-making levels including public life and election processes. Finally she enjoined everyone to be a part of this interesting journey by playing his/her own role in achieving the goal of this activity.

Thereafter, the National Coordinator Women Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN), Joy Onyesoh, gave a presentation on the Overview of Women Situation Room 2015.


In Nigeria even though we have a policy on affirmative action on women’s political participation, the implementation is far from being a reality, the enabling environment to ensure women’s political participation is lacking and these has led to very low women representation at the decision table. WILPF Nigeria is committed to women’s participation in peace processes in Nigeria and we see UNSCR 1325 as a normative framework for these processes.

It was argued that for sustainable peace and development to become a reality in Nigeria, there must be substantive women’s political participation, which would adopt an integrated approach for women’s participation to become a reality with human rights at the center of the processes. This integrated approach warranted the need for a Women’s Situation Room in Nigeria during which women in collaboration with youth, are mobilized to engage and lobby stakeholders for peaceful elections.

The women of Nigeria through WSR also saw the need to build on the success of the WSR during the 2015 elections and be proactive in ensuring that they assume their role in building and sustaining peace in Nigeria during the next four years leading to the next general elections in 2019.


To convene partners who are determined to give their support to make a reality of the policy on affirmative action on women’s political participation.

Specific Objectives

  • Evaluate the WSRN activities since its inauguration in 2015 before the general elections
  • Get feed back from geopolitical zone coordinators on the attributes of the WSRN
  • Project the new WSRN and hope to get partners for the 2019 elections
  • Commence early by reaching out to partners and networks for support to carry out this great ambition of women participation in all level of political processes
  • Inform people of the rebranding and location of the National Secretariat of WSRN
  • Indulge impactful activities by not only women but men and youth
  • Introduce the WSRN App


The presentation on the overview of Women Situation Room 2015 by the National Coordinator WSRN, Joy Onyesoh, highlighted the structure, key roles, processes and the immediate next steps for WSRN. Also was introduction of the WSRN Application as a platform that will be used to collect and disseminate information while measuring successes of the WSRN activity, since ICT is the way forward.


From the presentation, the five key roles to be played by WSRN encompassed around the following;

  • Convening all who share its vision in mobilizing women and youth in order to ensure their active participation in peaceful and democratic electoral processes as a peace and security measure in accordance with UNSCR 1325 and 1820
  • Involving all electoral stakeholders in consultative engagements while ensuring peace before, during and after elections.
  • Celebrating women who have made a difference at the national and community level
  • Carrying out forums, interactive sessions at the national level and geopolitical zones
  • Having a gender perspective and an all female observers team to observe elections in Nigeria

Introduction of the Geopolitical Zone Coordinators

  • Eze Oluchi representing Women Skill Acquisition Development and Leadership Organisation (WOSADLO) and South East geopolitical zone coordinator
  • Doris Onyeneke representing Mother of Good Counseling Initiative (MOGCI) and South South geopolitical zone coordinator
  • Abubakar Zariyatu representing Women Care Foundation and North East geopolitical zone coordinator
  • Bridget Osakwe, National Coordinator West African Network for PeaceBuilding Nigeria (WANEP) representing South West geopolitical zone coordinator
  • Zamani Henry representing Zamani Foundation and North West geopolitical zone coordinator
  • Magdalene Awulapia representing CORALDO and North Central geopolitical zone coordinator

Goodwill Messages

  • We welcome the WSRN App and we are looking forward to WSRN effect in improving the outcome of women in participation for the upcoming election and also give our support of the activity; delivered by Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (FMWASD)
  • We are delighted to identify with WSRN first as partners because through 2015 general elections we supported in Rivers State. Together we can with the women peace and security network achieve meaningful influential participation of women; also extending towards leadership and decision making; delivered by Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP)
  • The solution we need is here. National Democratic Institute (NDI) is doing a program on “Stop violence against women” wants a ground to do “Women in Politics”. We believe this is the foundational program, so we pledge our support as well. Regards from the country director of NDI and Search for Common Grounds; delivered by Search for Common Grounds.
  • We appreciate the WSRN App and believe it will be a good program to enable women in political participation and leadership processes; delivered by Swiss Embassy
  • Congratulations to WSRN, we are interested to work with the group since we are also into Peace building and have started preparation towards the Edo State elections. We are happy to work with WSRN; delivered by Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR)
  • We have since 2011 used the Civil Society Situation Room which has been replicated and implemented across Africa. With the WSRN, it is a valid add-on especially with the report from gender perspective. The WSRN model has a life of its own and we are ready to partner; delivered by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)
  • The WSRN Application initiative is a wonderful one, given that ICT is the order of the day. So with WSRN App there is no doubt that sharing will be easy for everyone. Media is a good tool in reporting and reflecting on pressing issues and help to foster debates to promote peace and gender equalities with a view of funding solutions, good knowledge and information resources. We have been part of the WSRN process and support the use of ICT to advance gender equalities such as increasing the participation and effectiveness of women in political life; delivered by UN Women.

Media Chat/Interactive Session

Anonymous: How do you intend to get people in the rural area know about this activity?

  • There are other means for engaging women apart from the ICT medium, the App is just an add-on to the process

Guardian Reporter: Having parties participant being mostly men; are we making progress? Do you think the present administration encourages women participation?

  • The WSRN process is not yet a reality but an ambition. It is a process that needs support from networks and even individuals to finally get to the national level.
  • At the national level, the spaces given women is below our expectation but we believe there are greater opportunities coming up to addressing this gap and making it a reality.

Core TV: What is the preparation for women in the upcoming election, how do you intend supporting women financially?

  • We intend encouraging women aspirants and highlighting the role of women; as for the funding, there are no funds available yet

Anonymous: What issues do you intend to raise with the political parties?

  • Women have faced road blocks, as they are not nominated as candidates within parties for primaries. We intend showing both men and women the relevance of women, to make them understand the translation of women goes beyond leadership position seen as just administrative or welfare activity but also includes handling trainings/capacity building programs.

Photographer Ernest: How do you address the issue of women being their own enemies and so don’t support their fellow women?

  • These are just structural or institutional barriers; men also have cases where men do not support men as well, so it is not reasonable to say “Women don’t support women”. It is the narrative in the society that says that a woman should not be in the political process. It is the structure not supporting people to exercise their rights. Women have rights as human beings, so till we start seeing women rights as human rights then we start closing the gap.

CLEEN Foundation: Why is WSRN focused only on women participation, what about the youth and adolescent girls?

  • There are a lot of social issues but without partners and networks tackling several groups/platforms that apply to women, these issues are difficult, challenging and unrealistic. The political sphere is also all encompassing; it gives us the tool (political space) to address other underlying women and youth issues. There is a difference between the political space and the main stream political space. Furthermore, looking at the 5 key roles of WSRN, it is not just political space.

Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP): Adding to what Joy Onyesoh has said, the notion of “women against women” is a dummy and narrative being sold and we internalize these and believing them meanwhile same practices happen amongst men.

There is also the structural barrier that only includes women in resolving informal issues but not in formal peace processes where they can as well make a vital impact.

Evaluation of the WSRN Activity

Awareness of WSRN has been created to a measure of over 50% since its first implementation in 2015 which covered ten (10) states. The Media Launch is seen as an avenue to create more open doors for partners who are ready to support and promote women in the participation of peace and political processes. This in turn, will encourage more women who wish to be political aspirants, come out with the belief that they have great support from organizations and individuals who are gender sensitive.

The WSRN activity has been evaluated to be quite active within the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria with the help of Media campaign, advocacy visits, networking and training of state and local government coordinators. Furthermore, during the 2015 general elections, there was the noticeable display of WSR activities such as female observers in the field, and mini- situation room for direct link in cases of enquiries or report of violence before, during and after elections.

Having in view the results that can be achieved with utilization the WSRN activity, there is need for more strategic way forward. This can be in  creating Situation Rooms at all zonal levels having direct link to the WSRN base, indulging in more sensitization and networking activities and also the early preparation of the WSRN activities towards for example the upcoming 2019 elections.

The WSRN Application stands as a strong attribute of the activity. This platform if well publicized, utilized and interactive can be used as an approach that will enhance delivery of information with regards not only to WSRN activity but also happenings in our nation at large.

During the closed session meeting of the Media Launch that Joy Onyesoh held with her geopolitical zone coordinators, the need for more publicity towards the WSRN App was brought to light. It was realized as a tool of communication that will convene not only women but also the youth and men into one common platform of an interactive session where people of the same passion debate and escalate issues in order to achieve the goal of a holistic women participation in leadership.

The App was a much welcomed and appreciated add-on. At the end of the Media Launch most people were eager to get connected.


Expected Long –Term Effects/Results

The Women Situation Room is a continuation of peacebuilding through consultations, trainings, and advocacy; bringing together women, the youths, the media, stakeholders, professionals, religious and traditional personalities and institutions for the purpose of ensuring a transparent and peaceful electoral process. All of these actions culminate into WSRN where women are involved in peace advocacy, intervention, coordination, political analysis, observation and documentation.

In addition, the acquiring of partners and networks that are determined with enough passion to see through the goals of this activity via funding and/or any other means. Finally, at the national level, women in political and peace processes meet the threshold of 35% that has always been requested.

Vote of Thanks

This was done by Zariyatu Abubakar, with special thanks to UN Women, NSRP and other partners present at the meeting.


As a result of the recognized success of Women Situation Rooms in a number of countries, the Women Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) has decided to commence an early preparation towards the upcoming 2019  general elections.

WSRN intends to include a range of activities to ensure that women are actively involved in peace advocacy, intervention, coordination, political analysis, monitoring and documentation. These efforts will be sure to contribute to securing peace and stability before, during and after elections across the nation.


25 C.S.Os/Organizations and 21 Media/Press


Allen- Daph Concepts

CLEEN Foundation

Community Life Project

CORAFID Group (Civil Organizations Research, Advocacy and Funding Initiatives Development)


FMWASD (Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development)

Heartland Alliance

IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms)

INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission)

IPCR (Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution)

Ministry of Defence

MOGCI (Mother of Good Counsel Initiative)

NDI (National Democratic Institute)

NSRP (Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme)

OSIWA (Open Society Initiative for West Africa)

PLAC (Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre)

Swiss Embassy

UN Women

United Nigeria Peace Foundation

Valiant Women’s Advocacy Initiative

WANEP Nigeria (West African Network for Peacebuilding)

Wildan Care Foundation

WILPF Nigeria (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)

WOWICAN (Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria)

Zamani Foundation


A.I.T (African Independent Television)

Cool Wazobia F.M

Core T.V

Daily Times

Daily Trust

Eko F.M

Galaxy T.V


I.T.V (Independent Television)

L.T.V (Lagos Television)

M.I T.V (Murhi International Television)

N.T.A (Nigerian Television Aythority)

New Telegraph

News Day


P.R.T.V (Plateau Radio Television) Corporation

Space F.M 90.1

T.V.C News

The Nation

This Day

Times Nigeria


IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms)

NSRP (Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme)

UN Women

WANEP Nigeria (West African Network for Peacebuilding)