Building Bridges Across Social Movements for SRHR Advocacy

Building Bridges Across Social Movements for SRHR Advocacy

The INCRESE Feminist Institute, CONNECTING THE DOTS, organised a training workshop – Building Bridges Across Social Movements for SRHR Advocacy which took place in Minna, 4th to 8th February 2019.

The workshop purposed to:

  • Leverage capacities across different social movements for effective and sustainable sexual reproductive health and rights advocacy in Nigeria;
  • Identify the basic concepts and definitions of SRHR and strategies for advocating for SRHR
  • Push the debate for institutionalizing SRHR as a developmental right in Nigeria

Three days into the workshop, delegates were asked to share a statement from the sessions that made the most impression on them; a punch line.  Here are the statements that were shared:

 

“Before the end of this training, I will touch, speak to your soul.”

Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Nuhu-Aken’Ova
4th February 2019
IFI – CtD

In her welcome address the ED of INCRESE made this statement.  I was wondering what she meant by this and how she was going to do that.  This statement stroke me and I noted it down.  Today, I understand what she meant and how.  I have learnt a lot and this has changed my mind-set concerning many SRHR issues.

“The worst injustice is to add another injustice to an already existing injustice”…  All human rights are indivisible”

Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Nuhu-Aken’Ova
7th February 2019
IFI – CtD

Two delegates found this statement impactful.  It gave us an opportunity to discuss multiple human rights violations that is frequently done to marginalised groups.

“I felt bad when I saw the pictures of what girls are passing through due to self induced abortion.”

Ngozi Nwosu
7th February 2019
IFI – CtD

This mentor from a very strict catholic church background shares her experience with delegates on what informed her change of attitude and perception to become a pro-choice advocate.

“Go and find out, or you can argue it out, be it from here to Saudi Arabia, the foetus in Islam is considered a mass of blood until 12 weeks.  It is ensouled only after 12 weeks of gestation.”

Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Nuhu-Aken’Ova
7th February 2019
IFI – CtD

While discussing rights of women to have access to safe abortion services, delegates continued to refer to religious injunctions that prohibit abortion.  It was time to take them through parts of religious values that are not usually taught.

“Every pregnant woman should go to or visit antenatal clinic at least four times before delivery”

Screening Why Mrs X Died
By WHO
7th February 2019
IFI – CtD

“Somebody said he won’t marry me because according to him, I am loud – It is actually his loss”

Faridah
7th February 2019
IFI – CtD

This remark was made by a participant and two mentors took it away as that kind of impact the institute wants to have on the delegates and that if they already have such high value for the themselves, the institute will build on it through our education on intersectionality of rights to enable value and respect the human rights of marginalised groups and also accord to them the worth and dignity of person that they themselves have.

“Everyone has right to his/her sexual and reproductive health and rights.  We should struggle for a society where individuals have knowledge, skills and resources to enjoy their sexuality”

Joseph Sowedo Akoro
5th Feb. 2019
IFI – CtD

This statement was noted by Osas.  She noted and remembered this statement as a statement that made a huge impact on her in the three days she had spent in the workshop. It is interesting that she noted the statement but did not remember who made the statement.  She sure has her priorities right!

“This is a gender neutral zone.  In doing your business, you can use any of them (rest rooms).  Just knock before you enter.”

Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Nuhu-Aken’Ova
4th Feb. 2019
IFI – CtD

The delegate, found this remarkable because he had not been to a place where rest rooms were gender neutral.  He understood that neither sex nor gender was binary but that both are continuum.

”Promoting and defending women’s human rights must become an integral part of our everyday life”

Damian
6th Feb. 2019
IFI – CtD

“When caught between upholding religious values and human rights, human rights must take precedence”

Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Nuhu-Aken’Ova
4th February 2019
IFI – CtD

There was intense debate on which takes precedence, religious injunctions or human rights.  Many come thinking that religious injuctions should take precedence forgetting that there are people who are non religious, and those who are, do not belong to the same religion.  Furthermore, religious injunctions are interpreted by same adherents in different ways.  But the human rights principles apply the same way to all people regardless of sex, gender, race, religion, age, etc.  Participants were curious to know how mentors dealt with the challenges of balancing their faith with their human rights work.

“We often hold those ‘in government’ accountable forgetting that we, the people, are the government.  And in a democratic setting, we must all take responsibility.”

Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Nuhu-Aken’Ova
6th Feb. 2019
IFI – CtD

The mentor who recorded this statement said it made an impact on him because many people push blame around and forget that they themselves are players who must take responsibility and play their role to make things work.

No doubt, the workshop was a success.
We will be bringing you more reports on this groundbreaking initiative as we follow the delegates during the coming ten years and beyond.

We still have opportunities for those who wish to be a part of the IFI-CtD. Visit our website regularly for calls.

From the desk of the Executive Director
INCRESE
Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *