Story by Constance Meju
From Tuesday April 13, 2021 to Thursday April 15, WANEP, Nigeria in collaboration with the global Network for Women in Peacebuilding brought together over 55 stakeholders in peacebuilding and development for a double-barrel virtual workshop on ‘Context – Specific Gender Based Analysis plus (GBA+) Training and Crisis and Risk Communication Strategy.’
Objective of the training targeted at state and non-state actors according to Patience Ikpe, programme facilitator WANEP is to deepen understanding on data gathering and analysis for better understanding of issues on gender violence as a step towards more sustainable solutions.
“This project, a Context – Specific Gender – Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) training is being held for key state and non – state actors involved in development planning across the country. The training aims to increase understanding of the meaning and importance of intersectionality approach to peacebuilding”.
Agneizka Fal-Dutra Santos, director of programmes at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, GWNP explained that Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is a new concept for improved approaches to dealing with conflict issues and gender abuses and was developed in Canada.
Prof Patricia Donli, chairperson WANEP board in her presentation on ‘Introduction to Intersectionality” defined the concept at looking deeper, examining from the different layers that affect the life of an individual including factors of age, sex, race, religion, social background, environment, education, etc. She explained that looking at all sides will help properly access level and effect of violations and how to manage them.
“Women may be more likely to experience sexual harassment if they are more vulnerable by virtue of another aspect of their experience such as IDPs/migrants/refugees. Refugee/IDP women and girls, in particular, are exposed to an increased risk of multiple forms of gender based violence (GBV), including abuse by intimates, forced and early marriage, and sexual violence. These specific challenges are faced by refugee or IDP women more than by their male counterparts. These women thus maintain two primary, intersecting identities: they are both displaced and female.
“Factors including race, ethnicity, caste, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, geographic location, disability, HIV status or status as a migrant, refugee or internally displaced person, can all influence the forms and nature of violence women and girls may suffer (Fergus 2012).
“These factors can direct discrimination and violence towards, as well as create inequalities that are unique to particular groups of women, or that disproportionately affect some groups of women. A sound understanding of the multiple forms of discrimination faced by different groups of women in different contexts needs to be embedded in all interventions”.
According to her, “without an intersectional lens, efforts to tackle inequalities and injustice towards women are likely to just end up perpetuating systems of inequalities”.
Another resource person, Nikou Salamatu in her presentation on Gender Based Analysis Plus explained that the different identities in humans lead to intersecting layers of inequalities and impact the way people experience conflict and crises.
Said she: “Not every woman will experience the results of conflict or of a pandemic in the same way – think for example, about a young mother versus. an older woman; or a refugee woman versus a woman from host community. To develop effective responses, we need to capture these differences”.
Digging out the important details will Salamatu added, require quantitative and qualitative including what is already available, missing information and why there are omissions and how to fill the gaps, target audience, who to leave out and why, interrogating differences in response to research queries.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on Nigerian women was a key discussion focus at the workshop with participants examining what did not work, why and what governments and Nigerians generally need to put in place to avoid the shocks currently being experienced by many.
National Coordinator WANEP, Nigeria, Bridget Osakwe thanked GNWP for continued support to WANEP noting that the relationship which she described as long-term is very much appreciated and not taken for granted.
Osakwe said new forms of gender based violence are coming up making it imperative to adopt new approaches in peace-building which the three-day double workshop is targeted at.
“New forms of gender based violence are coming up. I hope participants will key into the training. WANEP bridges the gap between national and international so we are bringing the Gender Based Analysis + so we can translate UNSCR 1325 to the grassroots to reduce abuses of the rights of women especially under conflict situations.
The facilitation team included Dinah Lakelia from the GNWP, Shirine Jurdi from Lebanon, Nikou Salamatu and Emem Bassey.
The workshop will end later today with a strategic framework for crisis and risk communication, using the GBA+ to drive the localization of women peacebuilding activities in the country.