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Niger Delta Women for Justice

NDWJ Annual Report for 2001

 

NIGER DELTA WOMEN FOR JUSTICE (NDWJ)

ANNUAL REPORT FOR YEAR 2001

 

PREAMBLE

Niger Delta Women for Justice (NDWJ) is a non-profit making, non-governmental, civil society organisation, founded in December, 1998. The organisation is a child of circumstance born out of over 40 years of economic and environmental neglect of the Niger Delta region in Southern Nigeria, culminating in the militarisation of the region over the past 10 years and increased human rights violations. 

NDWJ works in close collaboration with other grassroots organisations and women groups in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta. The organisation is committed to improving the personal, economic and educational status of women and to ensuring that their environmental and human rights are upheld. 

OBJECTIVES:

 1.                To campaign and advocate for the empowerment of the oppressed woman and girl child in the Niger Delta.

 2.                Defend the rights of women and children in the Niger Delta.

 3.                Ensure equal access of women and children to economic opportunities.

 4.                To empower the Niger Delta women politically to enhance her leadership skills and improve her participation in decision-making.

 5.                To campaign against environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, especially as it affects women.

 6.                To create awareness amongst women about their human and environmental rights.

 7.                Publicise human rights abuses through alerts, campaigns and partnerships with other organisations.

 8.                To address issues of custom and tradition that violates women's human rights.

 9.                To provide information on gender related issues in education, health, income generation, environmental damage, legal and human rights.

 10.            To undertake research to uncover and disseminate information on the realities of women's lives.

 11.            To monitor and assess the impact of NDWJ programmes.

 12.            To generate funding for NDWJ's programmes.

 ACTIVITIES:

 1.                RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION

 -                    NDWJ visited the site of the Yorla oil blow-out in Ogoniland. A report was written and documented by Agape Is A Birthright, an affiliate organisation of NDWJ. April, 2001.

 -                    NDWJ visited the women in Ke community after the communal clash between Ke and Bille communities in April, 2001.

 -                    Visited Ogbodo community on several occasions after the oil spill that polluted the river which served as the only source of drinking water in the community. NDWJ advocated that Shell, the oil company involved should ensure water is provided the people on a daily basis.

 NDWJ also advocated for a speedy clean up of the spill so that normal life could continue in the community.

 -                    NDWJ carried out a survey for a proposed Radio Listening Programme for rural women in Rivers and Bayelsa States.

 -                    In partnership with International Alert, London, NDWJ carried out a researched into the conditions of lives of people in rural oil producing communities in Niger Delta including Iko, Uruan, Okorotip, Igwo-Obom, Ntak Abasi, Ntafre-Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State; Yorla, Ogbodo, Obagi, Ahoada and Etche in Rivers State; Imiringi, Ogbia, Nembe, Odi in Bayelsa and Escravos & Forcados, Warri in Delta.

 -                    In collaboration with Rural Health Initiative (RHI), one of her affiliate organisations, and the African Environmental and Human Development Agency (AFRIDA) carried out a survey on the level of awareness on HIV/AIDS scourge in rural communities in the Niger Delta.

 2.                NATIONAL MEETINGS:

 -                    NDWJ was represented at the Anglophone West Africa NGOs workshop on the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance organised by Development Information Network (DEVNET) and International Possibilities Unlimited in Lagos. February 19-20, 2001.

 -                    NDWJ was represented at a consultative meeting with Prof. Michael Watts, a consultant with Ford Foundation, Lagos. January 26, 2001.

 -                    NDWJ was represented at the National Tribunal on the Violations of Women's Rights organised by Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre. March 12-15, 2001.

 -                    NDWJ was represented at the workshop for Effective Management Skill for NGOs organised by African-American Institute (AAI). May 16-20, 2001.

 -                    The Programmes Co-ordinator, Ms Emem J. Okon participated at the 3rd National Leadership Training for Nigerian Women Leaders – African Women Leadership Institute at Ogere, Ogun State. January 10-19, 2001.

 -                    National Workshop on Engineering Legislative Issues. August 16-20, 2001.

 3.                INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS:

 -                    NDWJ was represented at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance at Durban, South Africa. August 26 – September 7, 2001.

 -                    NDWJ was also represented at the Alliance for Africa (AFA), London, First Sub-regional Training Workshop on Community Peace Leaders Institute in Lagos. June 27 – July 4, 2001.

 4.                NETWORKING:

NDWJ belongs to the following networks:

          -        Women's NGO Coalition Group

          -        Niger Delta NGO Network

-        Network on the draft bill for the abolition of negative and harmful widowhood practices.

          -        Citizens Forum for Constitutional Reform.

 5.                OTHER MEETINGS:

 -                    Food Information and Action Network (FIAN) International, Germany Consultative Meeting in the Niger Delta. 4th – 10th April, 2001.

 -                    Women's AID Collective (WACOL) inaugural of Victims Support Club. February 14, 2001.

 -                    ERA Roundtable Discussion Fora.

 -                    Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) Consultative Meeting in Port Harcourt. May 15, 2001.

 -                    Series of environmental/social consultation with interest groups and NGOs operating in the Niger Delta and International Finance Corporation to describe the objectives and anticipated benefits of available financing for local Shell contractors.

 -                    NDWJ organised and held a follow-up training programme on the Community Peace Leaders Institute for Egi Women Council, Erema.

 -                    Held a civic education forum for women in Adagbabiri, Bayelsa State.

 -                    Took Ms Jennifer Sibanda on two-day tour of 5 Niger Delta communities to intimate the communities on the proposed Radio Listening Programme for Rural Women. April, 2001.

 -                    Took Prof. Terisa Turner on one-week tour of sites of oil spills and blow-outs in the Niger Delta. During the visits, meetings were held with women in rural communities.

 -                    Participated in a community workshop – preventing the plunder by protecting the sacred organised by Okoroba Wildlife Society, Bayelsa State. February 2001.

 6.                COMING EVENTS :

 -                    International Women's Day Celebration. March 8, 2002.

 -                    International Alerts West African Programme, Enhancing the capacity of Women Leaders of community organisations to contribute towards Peace-building in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.

 -                    Radio Listening Project for Rural Women.

 -                    Human Rights Awareness Training for community women in collaboration with X minus Y, Netherlands.

 -                    Earth Day Celebration.

 -                    NDWJ's CEDAW Report.

 -                    Research and Documentation.

 MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BOARD

  1.       Ms Annie Brisibe                      -        President

2.       Ms Jennifer Pere Tuodolo         -        Finance & Administration

3.       Ms Jereoma Thomas                 -        Secretariat

4.       Ms Sokari Ekine                       -        International Co-ordinator

5.       Mr. Oronto Douglas                  -        Advisor

6.       Ms Emem J. Okon                    -        Programmes

 

NDWJ Annual Report for 2000

REPORT OF NDWJ's ACTIVITIES FOR YEAR 2000


1.     RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION
 

A.     Blood and Oil: Testimonies of Violence from Women of the Niger Delta.  NDWJ carried out a research investigating violence against women by the Nigerian State and multi-national oil companies. The project covered 13 communities across the delta over a period of three weeks including Ijaw, Ogoni, Ikwerre, Egi, Umuechem, Isoko,Itsekiri and Ilaje among others. The Niger Delta has been intensively militarised over the past 10 years during which period communities have been brutalised and destroyed by security forces and suffered untold environmental damage by multinational oil companies.
The research sought to give voice to the many women who have been victims of violence ranging from
beatings, rape, bestiality, destruction and theft of property and crops to fear and intimidation.

B.     EFFECTS OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) NDWJ also carried out a research on the effects of female genital mutilation on women. Rural communities in the delta still practise the act of mutilating
women's genitals with the excuse of initiating them into womanhood. The research aimed to convince the
perpetrators of FGM that the practise is harmful to the health of the women and is a violation of women's
right to health and her sexuality. It is a compilation of victim's experiences. And we gathered during the
research that 4 adolescent female children died as a result of FGM in 1999 in Erema community. This
research was carried out in Rivers State.

C      WIDOWHOOD RITES
This was a research into the various ways in which women are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment
in the name of mourning a deceased spouse, by their various customs and traditions.

D      CAMPAIGNS
Through campaigns and counseling, we provided information on gender-related issues in education,
health, income generation, environmental damage, legal education and human rights.

NDWJ undertakes these research activities to uncover and disseminate information on the realities of
women's lives.

2.     COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

A.     NDWJ AWARENESS  PROGRAM
The awareness programme was designed to introduce NDWJ to women in the various communities in Rivers, Bayelsa
and Delta States. The aim was to establish local branches called 'cells' and to link up women groups in
neighbouring communities: to assess and ascertain their needs and main areas of concern of each of the
communities.

3.     HUMAN RIGHTS

POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT OF THE NIGERIAN FEMALE STUDENT PROJECT

This project was designed to enhance the awareness of the need for the involvement of female students in
politics; to build up women for leadership positions in the society. Seminars were held in four tertiary
institutions in Rivers State. This project served as a pilot for a larger initiative.

4.     CREATION OF CELLS

NDWJ was able to create cells (NDWJ units) in rural communities in the following states:
a)     Rivers ­ Egi, Andoni, and the six Ogoni kingdoms b)Bayelsa ­ Odi, Imiringi, Elebele, Otuesega, Kaiama,
and Yenogoa
c)     Akwa Ibom ­ Ibiono, Ikot Otu, Ibeno
d)     Cross River ­ Odukpani, Akamkpa

5.     INTERNATIONAL MEETING

NIGER DELTA WOMEN CONSULTATIVE MEETING, BANJUL, THE GAMBIA, AUGUST 5TH ­ 12TH 2000


This meeting was organised and facilitated by International Alert to create a forum for
representatives of women in the niger delta to meet with representatives of the  Nigerian government,
specifically, the Hon. Minister for Women Affairs, Hajia Ishmail and the Hon. Minister of State for
Women Affairs, Mrs Becky Ketebou-Igwe to fashion out mechanisms through which justice can be attained for
the people of the niger delta. And to explore avenues through which niger delta women can be represented at
the Federal level.

In a communique released after the meeting, it was noted among other things; that the activities of
government and multinational corporations in the region led to the agitation of youths. This resulted
in the militarisation of the region by the government. And the subsequent violation of the people's rights
killing, maiming, raping and harassment the girls and the women. "And that we the women of the niger delta
suffer more directly from the impact of oil exploration and exploitation as we do not have
anywhere else to go but to stay put in the devastated environment and suffer the consequences of crude oil
exploitation."

Therefore "the niger delta woman should be empowered economically in order that she may claim her rights to
political empowerment" and therefore liberation.

6.     NETWORKING
NDWJ networks with other NGOs in the country. These activities include:
Participation in USAID/OTI training of trainers
workshop on conflict resolution.
Participation in Women In Nigeria (WIN)'s workshop
on networking and coalition building.
Participation in FIDA's  speak out programme on
women participation in politics.
Featured in NAWOJ- Rivers talk-shop programme on
Radio and Television on women's human rights and
affirmative action.
Participated in Women In Nigeria (WIN) workshop on
NGO Management.
Participated in WIN workshop on Community
Mobilisation
Participated in Claude Ake's memorial lecture
organised by Centre for Advanced Social Sciences
(CASS)
Observed Rural Women's Day by holding a symposium in
Erema community in collaboration with Egi Women
Council.
Participated in the celebration of Earth Day 2000 as
a member of the Earth network
Solidarised with MOSOP during the burial of the
frontline environmentalist and playwright, late Kenule
Saro-Wiwa.

7:         NEWS FROM THE DELTA

SAD ECHOES FROM CHOBA

One year after the traumatic experience of massive rape of women in choba community by uniformed men in
1999, things have never been the same again for inhabitants, especially the women. They are still
being haunted by their gory experience, making them to become apprehensive and phobic of the uniformed
people. Some even go into hiding on sighting the military, the police or any person in uniform,
notwithstanding what their mission may be.

In a survey carried out by NDWJ in the community, some of the women expressed fear that the government cannot
exercise control over the activities of the uniformed men and so cannot protect them from the unruly
behaviour of the uniformed men. They lamented that till now the government has done nothing to compensate
the victims nor bring the culprit to book.

NEMBE
Nembe, the largest oil producing community in the delta is crisis torn as a result of oil exploration
and exploitation activities. As part of government programme of intervention, a conflict resolution
committee is to be set up in the area. It is being expected that women will be allowed to play a leading
role in the efforts to restore peace in the community.

8        COMING EVENTS
March 8, 2001 ­ International Women's Day.
Community enlightenment programme in Otuesega and
Imiringi in Bayelsa State.

April 2001 ­ Earth Day
Rally to be held at Erema and Ubeta communities

June 2001 ­ Community Leadership Peace Initiative
workshop.
A training programme to be held for coordinators of
NDWJ cells.

August 2001 ­ Political Empowerment Programme.
A sensitization programme for 40 women leaders in the
Niger Delta region
.
September 2001 ­ Democratic Leadership Training for
women leaders in Akwa Ibom State
-      .
October 16, 2001 ­ World Rural Women's Day
Training programme on micro-credit scheme for women in
Isiokpo.

November 2001 ­ review of NDWJ's activities in 2001
and a plan for 2002

December 2001 ­ End of year in- house session

Regular monthly meetings

Regular publication of the quarterly
newsletter/electronic newsletter.

AFFILIATE MEMBERS
1      Ijaw Peace Movement
2      Rural Health Initiative
3      Agape is a Birthright
4      Itsekiri Women's Initiative
5      Kalabari Women Association
6      Egi women Council
7      Women In Power Politics
8      Ubio women Association
9      Omoku Women Association
10     Andoni Women
11     Ayoriekwe ­ Okposi Women Group
12     Choba women
13     Ikwerre Women Association
14     Nka Ima Iban Ikot Otu
15     Ahoada women Association
16     Women Action Network
17     Ilaje Women Consultative Forum
18     Egi Women Movement

WHO WE ARE
The Niger Delta Women for Justice (NDWJ) is a non-profit making civil society organization founded
in December 1998. The organization is a child of circumstance born out of 40 years of economic and
environmental neglect of the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria, culminating in the militarisation of
the region over the past ten years and increased human rights violations.

NDWJ works in close collaboration with other grassroots organizatuions and women's groups in all of
the ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta. We are committed to improving the personal, economic and
educational status of women and to ensuring that their environmental and human rights are upheld.

 

NDWJ: 13 Agudama Street, D/Line

Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Phone: 234-84-236365, 0802-3090197

E-mails:

info@ndwj.org, anniebrisibe@yahoo.com, emem_o@yahoo.comsokariekine@yahoo.co.uk, zenefakwe@yahoo.co.uk

Website:

www.kabissa.org/ndwj

 

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