Anti-gender pushbacks: Response or Proactiveness?
Facilitating Act Alliance high level policy engagement on gender justice backlashes from anti-rights movement, at CSW67, on backlashes, technology and gender justice.
This engagement enabled conversations on understanding anti-gender rhetorics in order to better organize as a global gender justice movement. It was a platform to share series of recommendations focusing on transforming social norms, innovative faith-based partnerships, inclusive policies,
Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and the safety and security of human rights defenders.
Pride Afrique, 2023, the first in-person continental Pride in Africa
As the Chair of Pride Afrique 2023, curating and leading implementation for over 400 Africans from all over the continent, to come together as a continental body and hold Pride as a protest, Pride as healing and reclaiming our narratives of African existence, was one of the most important proiects I’ve ever undertaken.
As queer persons in Africa, we wear pain as our second skin, trailing a map of struggle behind us. Pride Afrique 2023 created a space for us to find healing in community.
We held a candlelight memorial for our queer siblings lost to violence and hate across the continent, saying their names and holding them on our tongues. We write down our wishes and hopes for ourselves, our communities, our counties and our continent, tied them up on wish trees and hope that as we do the work, life will be kind enough to actual use justice. We celebrated queer joy and united for one common goal. History was made and I’m very proud of the team of Pride Afrique volunteers I got to work with.
Gender Equality Bootcamp
Co-facilitating the Drac Equality Bootcamp in partnership with the European Union and British Council, to enable gender justice for the programming of women’s rights organizations in Nigeria.
This training introduced most of the participants to feminist principles and how they can apply feminist frameworks to the work they do. It also mainstreamed the rights and issues of often marginalized groups of women like the LBQTIt women, girls, and self-identifying female/nonbinary persons, fostering and enabling systems within the feminist movements and women’s rights spaces, to address inclusive needs without the exclusion of some groups.
This advocacy strategy resulted in the pioneering of conversations for LBTQ+ inclusion at the National Consultation on ending violence against women in Nigeria, by Abani-Elem Blessing, the North Central representative, engineering a network of women-led organizations prioritizing intersectional inclusion.
POLICY ENGAGEMENT Women's Safety in Electoral Processes
As an Advisor on Meta’s Sub-Saharan Africa Women’s Rights Working Group, part of our processes included Meta’s Nigeria elections outreach with human rights activists and journalists on the safety of women during electoral processes and elections.
Historically and especially in recent times when more women are active in politics, there is increased violence targeted at not just women politicians and political candidates but also female journalists, activists and private individuals who have opinions on election processes. Additionally, there is silencing and victimization of LBQTIA+ women and persons who are incapable of running for offices. This engagement provided input to Meta’s policies on how digital platforms can better support the safety and security of women and queer persons during the 2023 Nigerian elections.
Reimagining safety and security for LGBTQIA+ persons in Africa
Facilitating the Pride Afrique Satelite Workshop on reimagining safety and security for LGBTQIA+ persons in Africa, in partnership with GALZ Zimbabwe, under the Love Alliance Project.
This workshop was conceptualized on the backdrop of increased of anti-rights actors on the continent, pushing the narrative that LGBTQIA+ existence is un-African, weaponizing the family unit to promote heteronormativity, increasing different conversion practices and diverse forms of violence and aiming for LGBTQIA+ erasure.
This engagement brought together different stakeholders in the community, from grassroots actors to CSOs, policymakers, religious actors and members of the community, to reimagine what safety and solidarity means in silos and as a collective, review what has been done so far, what has worked, what hasn’t worked and why, what best practices can be adopted to suit the needs of the present and how efforts can be consolidated for more impact. It also led to the creation of the Safety and Security Strategy Document.
HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISM TRAINER
Pan Africa ILGA's Human Rights ToT training.
Connecting grassroots advocacy to global development is a vital component in building synergies around state ratification, domestication, implementation and accountability for Human Rights treaties. As Human Rights activists who have engaged with both the AU and UN mechanisms, this training equipped us with further knowledge on how to effectively train other advocates, building a larger movement for more impact.
At the first physical Pride March I’d be joining, Mauritius National Pride, 2022, during a courtesy visit to in-country organizations as part of the Pan Africa ILGA Board. Supporting PAI governance to better serve over 330 member organizations was fundamental to strengthening the LGBTQIA+ movement on the continent, especially as an activist who has worked with a PAI member organization for six years.
Building understanding on the intersections of digital violence, Comprehensive Sexuality Education and conversion practices.
Facilitating GIN-SSOGIE’s policy change stakeholder engagement at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, 2023 (CSW67), as part of an advocacy strategy to build understanding on the intersections of digital violence, conversion practices on LGBTQIA+ persons and Comprehensive Sexuality Education.
This engagement also analysed the gender, religion, and human rights nexus, in the context of science, innovation and digital technologies, addressing how faith and technologies can be further reimagined to build gender-just and inclusive societies.
Nalafem Retreat, 2022
Working as a consultant for Nalafem Retreat and Summit, 2022, gave me more insight into the intersectional realities and challenges with mainstream feminist movement building.
One key thing I took away from this engagement is how much learning is gained in the course of work.
The Rural Urban Divide: LBTI+ Realities in Rural Areas
Speaking at Outright’s engagement on actions taken to overcome discrimination based on SOGIESC in rural areas, with other LGBTQI+ civil society activists, researchers, and policy makers.
There’s an urgent need for more dignity in approaches towards programming for our rural communities, with the recognition of how much we can learn from various lived realities. There’s also a need for enabling decision making spaces for those from our rural communities, to ensure that digital and social divides do not limit the impact of their work.
Meta's Power Up Women's Tech & Innovation Engagement, 2023.
I engaged with policy makers, change influencers and people from the digital space on digital safety for women, girls and people with diverse SOGIESC realities, especially in respect to non-consensual intimate image sharing as a form of gender based violence
Co-facilitating the DRAC Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Sexual Gender Based Violence workshop, with disability justice at the heart of Human Rights.
Building bridges and allyship
An engagement between Member States and organizations dedicated to advocating for the rights of sexual and gender minorities in Nigeria and H.E. Ms Samuela ISOPI, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS in May 2022, to strengthen partnerships and review best practices for work in the country’s context, for the communities we serve.