A Creative Girls' Rights Project

Carolyn Seaman
Posted February 7, 2017 from Nigeria
A view of the participants at the Girls' Rights Workshop
Participants introducing each other during the welcome activity
Participants introducing each other during the welcome activity (1/62)

Nigeria has 7% of the world's poor; over 100million Nigerians live below the poverty line. And 70% of that figure are women and girls. Women and girls remain marginalized in major sectors of society, particularly critical sectors that drive the Nigerian economy such as entrepreneurship and leadership. This inspired our resolve to catalyze change in Nigeria by empowering women and girls who, in turn, will empower other women and girls; thereby creating what we call the ''Girl Domino Effect.''

'Many Nigerians do not know their rights. As such, those rights are violated recklessly and with impunity. And this is even worse with regards to child rights. Just like we see with some basic rights of Nigerians, girls' rights are often trampled upon daily and overlooked. And this is perpetuated by the cycle of ignorance of the Child Rights Act, 2003 as enshrined in our laws.

Most of the time, Nigerians are harassed, molested and abused because they lack knowledge of their rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended. And this is also the case with children, particularly girls, who suffer abuse and violations of their rights as enshrined in law but the ignorance of the law leaves these violations unpunished and impunity continues to perpetuate in society.

In Nigeria, only 24 states have passed the Child Rights Act into Child Rights Laws in their states. This means that millions of children in the other 12 states in Nigeria still do not have the appropriate legal framework for the protection of their rights. Likewise, millions of children in the states that have passed the law are not properly cared for because the laws have not been fully implemented. This is our motivation for this project. We seek to equip girls with knowledge of their rights so that they are positioned to be in the forefront of advocacy for the implementation of the Child Rights Act across the states in Nigeria.

Our Project, 'Promoting Girls' Voices & Rights and Empowering Girls Across Public Schools in the FCT through Training and Audio-Visual Resources', targets to train public school girls about their rights and build girls' skills to advocate for their rights. The key activities include the Rapid Survey activity to assess girls knowledge of their rights; A couple of Training activities targeting to benefit 100 girls across 10 public schools within our community; And the Screening activity to screen the instructional video (produced by the girls we trained) to reach an estimated 10,000 girls across the schools in which the video would be screened. The project is also targeted to benefit the community, including the key influencers in girls' lives, like boys, parents, guardians, teachers, traditional and religious leaders in another component of the project - A Digital Action Campaign - targeting to enlighten a wider audience in the community.

While pockets of projects work to promote the Child Rights Act, 2003 in Nigeria, very little has been done to actually target to enlighten the children about their rights. The target group of this project is unique in its reach to girls who are often a missing population in development conversations and interventions. In extended project activities, this project would engage a digital action campaign which would promote Girls' Rights in an online campaign #AGREE (All Girls' Rights Equal Empowerment) targeted to reach a wider audience including girls, boys, men and women, parents, traditional and religious rulers and other key influencers as well as the global audience who access various internet platforms and social media.

We have successfully trained 100 Girls' Rights Ambassadors with whom we have also produced a remarkable instructional video that will start screening towards the end of this month. Watch out!

And please, enjoy the song written and performed by one of the girls who was inspired by what she learned from our workshops. I have provided links to the audio song and the music video for the song.

www.leadership.ng/news/345004/nigerians-know-rights

http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/daily/index.php/letters/39964-25-years-of-c...

Comments 5

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Jill Langhus
Feb 08, 2017
Feb 08, 2017

Hi Carolyn. Thanks for your story and letting us know about your noble project. It's very inspiring, as is the song that you shared with us. Please do keep up your important educational work and keep us posted on your progress. I'm following your project now on FB.

Carolyn Seaman
Mar 12, 2017
Mar 12, 2017

Thank you for your sweet comments. I am excited to learn that you loved the song. And thank you for following us on Facebook. I am very happy to share more about our work as we go along.

Love,

Jill Langhus
Mar 13, 2017
Mar 13, 2017

You're welcome:) Looking forward to it!

WorldCare
Feb 08, 2017
Feb 08, 2017

Dear Carolyn, WOW! What a great song. This is contagious and I think singing it in many meetings and on the street will spread the word for these needs.  You are truly connected to a very fine group which will improve girl's lives. Just don't leave out the boys! It seems it is the males who ignore, take advantage of and oppress young women and wives. Hopefully there can be a balance, with an educational group for boys, and men too. I will follow you (Follow Girls' Voices) on Facebook too. I wish you the very best in continuing this fine program, getting new girls to attend, and possibly including boys some day.

Carolyn Seaman
Mar 12, 2017
Mar 12, 2017

Dear WorldCare,

Thank you for your comments. I totally agree with you that boys need to be carried along in this interventions. This is our first intervention in this area and considering the little funding that we had to work with, we had to prioritize the girls first. However, our recommendations from this project include the next step of engaging boys and teachers. And we look forward to successfully achieving this soonest.

Once again, I am grateful for your insightful feedback and suggestions. I look forward to sharing some good news about that in the nearest future.

Love,

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