A non-governmental agency under the Youth and Environment Advocacy Center (YEAC) in Nigeria has called for a rights-based approach to women’s development and empowerment as it shares the experiences of global rights with their youth counterparts in other countries.
Speaking at the program hosted by YEAC, Nigeria, the Executive Director of YEAC, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface emphasized that a human rights-based approach to women’s development and empowerment is what Nigeria requires.
The organization made the request in Port Harcourt, recently, during a meeting “Implementing the individual plan to put into action the Global Rights Connection (GRC) learning experience with one million young network volunteers of human rights defenders and promoters in the Niger Delta”.
Executive Director, Fyneface, while sharing his learning experience gained while attending Equitas, Canada’s International Human Rights Training Program, Online Version, tagged “Global Rights Connection (GRC) 2021”, expressed the need for participation of youth, men, women and people with disabilities from Rivers and other Niger Delta states, so that they are fully self-reliant.
Such empowerment, he said, would in turn transcend the development of the region.
Regarding the gender and human rights approach, Fyneface said: “Gender being a social construct should not be seen as referring only to women, but also to men.
“Gender in this sense refers to girls, young women, the elderly, the blind, the deaf, the dumb and members of the gay lesbian, bisexual transgender (LGBT) community as well as people suffering from other disabilities and people with physical disabilities, the same applies to men on the other hand,” he explained.
The Executive Director backed up his arguments on gender equality using the impact of COVID-19 on women with short videos from UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres and the former UN Women Executive Director , Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, while calling on the government to create more employment opportunities for women to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on their families and households.
“The sex assigned to anyone at birth should not dictate who we are, what we think we can do and what we think we can’t do, because of our genders, because gender equality is fundamental,” said he declared.
Fyneface also said that a peaceful and serene environment would be achieved in the society if the human rights-based approach, which ensures inclusion, with no one left behind, is adopted in all projects. of development.
According to him, the crisis in many communities in the Niger Delta is the result of the neglect of the human rights-based approach to development, which prioritizes full inclusion, including the physically disabled and disabled people.
He further graphically demonstrated the learning experience with other participants from around the world during the 10-week program, which ran from October 4 to December 10, 2021, the International Human Rights Day, which witnessed various interesting topics of learning and discussion.
He pointed out that the module practically demonstrates the concerns between development and human rights in development projects and how to apply elements of the human rights-based approach in development through the mapping of stakeholders and different contexts for inclusiveness.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana