Tag Archives: nigeria

One Year On – We Have Not Forgotten – #BringBackOurGirls

Inline image 1

We are unfortunately fast approaching the one year anniversary since hundreds of girls were abducted from their school in Chibok, Nigeria.

A Global Week of Solidarity Action is currently underway to amplify calls for their immediate release and rescue, as well as to reiterate that we have not forgotten our girls.
In light of this, all citizens of conscience are invited to join in the solidarity week of action from April 8th – 14th April  to speak out and take action against increasing fundamentalisms and oppressive systems of patriarchy and domination which perpetuate injustice.
You will recall that our call for a solidarity day of action on May 15 which marked one month resulted in incredible mobilization from over 20 countries across Africa as well as globally – with the holding of vigils, fasts, prayers, marches, protests, sit ins, media engagements and more! Here in Nairobi, hundreds from all walks of life took to the streets to express their love, hurt, anger and solidarity.
There will be a Global School Girls March on April 14th. If you are planning any activities in your respective cities/towns/countries – please fill out this form:

Here are some social media messages that you can feel free to use and share widely, along with a mapping of relevant policy makers for the targeting of those messages. Some images can also be accessed here – please feel free to use and share widely. 

Please also let us know if you’re interested in writing op-eds, articles or blog posts in relation to the girls.

For any questions, please contact communication@femnet.or.ke

Our Voices on Global Day of Action to #BringBackOurGirls


#BringBackOurGirls Facebook Banner-1

Today is a global day of action to amplify calls to #BringBackOurGirls. Today marks one month since heavily armed attackers stormed the Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria and abducted over 300 girls with additional girls abducted thereafter. Latest reports indicate that the schoolgirls are now being used to negotiate the exchange of imprisoned Boko Haram members.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the abduction, proposed sale of young girls and the bombing that killed hundreds on May 7th, as well as the abductions and killing of students in previous months. Wedenounce the sluggish response of the Government of Nigeria to take action to rescue these girls.

Abducting and the killing children is an unconscionable act and a crime against humanity. It is therefore unacceptable that the highest office in Nigeria took over two weeks to issue a response to these tragedies. The families of these children deserve the undivided attention and tenacity of leaders in ensuring the safe and immediate return of these children.

We urgently call on the Government of Nigeria to:

  1. Take immediate action to locate and rescue the girls
  2. Prosecute those responsible for the girls’ abduction and exploitation
  3. Provide psychosocial support services for the survivors, their families and their communities
  4. Rebuild the schools and reaffirm the girls’ rights to safety, security and education as a process of restoring their dignity
  5. Take steps to ensure schools and public places are safe spaces
  6. Immediately institute, in consultation with civil society, measures to protect the safety and human rights of women and girls throughout Nigeria, which are further endangered by the volatile political situation in conflict areas
  7. Guarantee the safety and security of the families who have been internally displaced, as a result of the ongoing conflict in the region

Additionally, we call for the urgent action and support of:

  1. Governments of Cameroon, Chad and Niger to swiftly determine whether the girls were transported into their countries and to assist in their safe rescue.
  2. The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to provide substantive support to the Nigerian Government to address the underlying systemic issues, including the climate of violence and insecurity in which groups like Boko Haram thrive.
  3. The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to investigate the crimes against humanity and bring the perpetrators to justice according to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights that calls for the protection of human rights and freedom from all forms of violence including sexual violence.

There are simultaneous and solidarity actions taking place today across the continent to #BringBackOurGirls. Citizens of conscience are taking a stand against increasing fundamentalisms, militarism and oppressive systems of patriarchy and domination which perpetuate injustice. In this vein, we also call for the release of thousands detained in Kaserani in the pretext of fighting terror. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. As citizens of a global community, we march collectively for the dignity, respect and justice for all.

‘We are racing against time and every moment counts.’ #BringBackOurGirls



In Solidarity

The African Women’s Development and Communication Network, FEMNET, has called on hundreds of its members across over 40 African countries to organize and mobilize peaceful demonstrations at Nigerian Embassies around the continent on Thursday, 15th May 2014, also the International Day of the Family, to express pan-African solidarity with the abducted Nigerian school girls, their families and their loved ones. May 15th marks one month since the girls were abducted.

Actions are being organized simultaneously around the continent to express concern over the slow response of the Nigerian government and demand the immediate and safe return of the 276 girls as well as at least eight more who were subsequently abducted. These follow a series of atrocities by Boko Haram, which include a bombing that killed of over 300 last week as well as abductions and killing of school going youth in previous months.

Upon the safe return of the girls, we call for the commitment of the Nigerian government, among others, to provide psychosocial support, to rebuild the schools and reaffirm the girl’s rights to safety, security and education as a process of restoring their dignity. Calls are also being made for urgent action by fellow African governments, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to substantively support immediate and long term interventions to address the underlying systemic issues.

In light of this, all citizens of conscience are invited to join in the solidarity day of action on Thursday, May 15, 2014 to speak out against increasing fundamentalisms and oppressive systems of patriarchy and domination that perpetuate injustice.

In Kenya, the Africa UNiTE Kenya Chapter, Akili Dada, Equality Now, the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition and FEMNET will be leading a peaceful march to the Nigerian High Commission commencing at Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park at 9AM. Participants are asked to wear something red in solidarity and support for Nigeria.

Pan-African Expressions and Marches of Solidarity are taking place across the continent.

Cameroon. Cote D’Ivoire. Egypt.  Ghana. Liberia. Mauritius. Madagascar. Seychelles. Senegal. Sudan. Tanzania. Togo. Uganda. Zambia. Zimbabwe.

Take action:

Sign the letters to Nigerian government officials as well as other policy makers here.

Join us online – see social media messages and mapping here.

If in Nairobi, join us in person on Thursday, May 15th.

FEMNET Statement on Abduction of Girls in Chibok, Nigeria

Tribute to HE Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima on Mother’s Day


By Hafsat Mohammed Baba

On this special day mothers and motherhood is celebrated all over the world. Women are the pillar and the strength of the family, an embodiment of love. Mothers are always protective of their children and have been blessed with enormous energy to shoulder responsibility and tasks in the home, office, market and solve problems as they arise. A mother can forfeit all pleasures and sacrifice all enjoyment for the sake of her family, that is why when crisis occur the first thing a woman thinks of is her children and she will try her very best to give maximum protection to her family most especially the children. Let me bring back our memory to some years back, where that famous newscaster on news line every Sunday in his opening statement always asks Nigerians DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILDREN ARE? I always wondered what he meant and why it became the opening remarks before the news at that time, but after many years I have analyzed and seen the sense in it. With the abduction of the Chibok school children entering its fourth week, the parents of these girls will be asking the Government of their dear country WHERE ARE OUR CHILDREN? How can you help rescue them and #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS.

I personally want to dedicate this day to all the mothers and Her Excellency Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima, wife of the Executive Governor of Borno State because of their struggle and the trying times they are going through. Out of the 36 Governor’s wives I believe she has been the most traumatized, upset, angry, frustrated and pained with the situation she found herself as the First Lady of a troubled and insecure state. Even though I know her faith and strength comes from God, it also comes from her family and the good people of Borno state most especially the women and children. For the last three years I don’t think the First Lady has seen peace in her home state, it has been either a bomb blast, assassination, or migration and worst of all kidnapping of innocent children.

The recent happening in Chibok, Borno state is the height of all trouble, if what has been happening for the past three years has not been told, the story not heard, today the whole world is talking about that small town Chibok where more than 200 girls have been abducted and separated from their loved ones.

The agony, heartache, frustrations and pains the parents of these children are going through cannot be quantified and I’m sure as a mother and a leader you share these with the women and children in your state. As today being Mother’s Day I celebrate and dedicate this special day to all of these mothers and to the woman who has gathered strength to sacrifice herself for her state. Who has known no peace, but courageously tries to uplift the spirit of her people in little ways that she can. She lives everyday seeking ways to execute her plans as a First Lady even though it has been tough for the past three years. We can’t be able to imagine what she must be going through as a mother of the state, her grief in the kidnapping of these innocent lives. As an ardent listener of VOA and BBC Hausa service I have heard you cry every time you are addressing the women of your state, expressing your love, support and concern in the hard and troubled times. I know you are always keen on implementing your pet project like any First Lady in Nigeria. I believe yours may be facing difficulty because of the circumstances and challenges you are facing. Let me use this special day to encourage you and to let you know that you should not relent in your effort to continue the good work no matter how bad the situation may be.

Mothers all over the world are sending messages of comfort, prayers and encouraging statement because they share your pains.

Hafsat Mohammed Baba is a Nigerian politician and an activist with Global Initiative for Women and Children which caters to the vulnerable and less privileged in the society. Connect with her hafsatmbaba@gmail.com.

Worth Fighting For – #BringBackOurGirls


By Deborah Dauda

We need to wake up our collective consciousness.
Nigerians, we can’t continue “Suffering and Smiling”.
Our girls are missing, abducted, kidnapped, and sold into slavery EVERYDAY.
Chibokis not the first. The power of Grassroots organizing in Nigeria and the media amplified Chibok.
We can’t continue to be complacent on issues affecting our livelihoods, our children and their future.
The Time is now!!

Let’s hold ourselves and our government accountable – NO IMPUNITY!
When your I-Phone goes missing, an IOS application comes to the rescue.
When you are a victim of Sakawaand, Yahoo-Yahoo, your bank comes the rescue.
So, how much more for our children?
The abduction of, and all forms of violence against children is a crime under international law, and it defies our very existence.

In Nigeria, FIVE laws affect the protection of children:
1.Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (1989)
2.African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990)
3.The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
4.The Child’s Rights Act(CRA) (2003)
5.The Child’s Rights Law of Lagos State (CRL) (2007)

In Northern Nigeria, where Chibok students were abducted, ONLY one state has domesticated the Child Rights Act (CRA).

Isn’t the future of these children Worth Fighting For?
Mothers, fathers, don’t allow the realities of Chibok change your mind about advancing/protecting the education of your girl-child.
Don’t waver in your fight, stand strong and demand accountability.
Our children deserve a future of possibilities, not a future of intimidation and fear.
I can’t imagine what you are going through, but please don’t waver.
Together we can prove that dreams can indeed come through, that the future of our children are Worth Fighting For.

At the Red Elephant Foundation (REF), we believe HUMANITY is Worth Fighting For. In fact, our existence as an organization depend on the strides we continue to make in protecting and advancing the rights of all peoples.

With love,
The REF family.



The hot button issue of child marriage has once again polarised Nigeria. This time at the hands of Senator Ahmad Yarima who successfully fought to uphold a clause in the constitution that deems all married women as “full age”, including those under 18. He is a controversial figure who, himself, has an underage bride and claims banning child marriage goes against Islamic law. He joins Al Jazeera Stream. See the discussion below.




Africa has an unprecedented number of female presidential contestants in 2011-2012:
Cameroon: Kah Walla
Egypt: Bothaina Kamel
Kenya: Hon. Martha Karua
Senegal: Prof. Amsatou Sow Sidibe
Zambia: Hon. Edith Nawakwi

Simultaneously we have seen a regression in the proportion of women in Parliament in several member states such as Nigeria, Namibia and Botswana. Are States doing enough to ensure gender parity at all levels of political participation?

Article 29 of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance (2007) states that:
1. State Parties shall recognize the crucial role of women in development and strengthening of democracy.
2. State Parties shall create the necessary conditions for full and active participation of women in the decision-making processes and structures at all levels as a fundamental element in the promotion and exercise of a democratic culture.
3. State Parties shall take all possible measures to encourage the full and active participation of women in the electoral process and ensure gender parity in representation at all levels, including legislatures.

In commemoration of Democracy Day
September 15th, 2011



L’Afrique a un nombre sans précédent de femmes candidates présidentielles en 2011-2012:
Cameroun: Kah Walla
Egypte: Bothaina Kamel
Kenya: Hon. Martha Karua
Sénégal: Prof. Amsatou Sow Sidibe
Zambie: Hon. Edith Nawakwi

Au même moment, nous avons vu une régression dans la proportion des femmes au Parlement dans plusieurs Etats membres tels que le Nigeria, la Namibie et le Botswana. Les Etats sont-ils en train de faire assez pour garantir la parité sexuelle à tous les niveaux de participation politique?

L’Article 29 de la Charte Africaine sur la Démocratie, les Elections & la Gouvernance (2007) stipule que:
1. Les Etats partis reconnaîtront le rôle crucial de la femme dans le développement et dans le renforcement de la démocratie.
2. Les Etats partis créeront les conditions nécessaires à la pleine et active participation de la femme aux processus et structures de prise de décisions à tous les niveaux en tant qu’élément fondamental dans la promotion et dans l’exercice d’une culture démocratique.
3. Les Etats partis prendront toutes les mesures possibles pour encourager la pleine et active participation de la femme au processus électoral et garantir la parité sexuelle dans la représentation à tous les niveaux, y compris les législatures.

En commémoration de la Journée de la Démocratie
Le 15 septembre 2011