Gender Knowledge in Nigeria: Meeting of Minds
On 25th June 2015, Voices for Change (V4C) drew 34 gender related minds representing Academia, Civil Servants, CSOs/NGOs and International development organisations to discuss the Supply Side of Gender Knowledge in Nigeria. This was a precursor for new study courses on the V4C knowledge portal – Gender Hub (www.genderhub.org) that is being managed by the Institute for Development Studies UK (IDS).
Gathered in the conducive space provided by Rockview Hotels (Classic), Abuja, the main purpose of the workshop was elicit from the participants critical suggestions that will improve the V4C Gender Hub. The strategy deployed was to share with participants, an update on the V4C Gender Hub and get feedbacks on how to make Gender Hub more useful and relevant for gender actors in Nigeria.
To set the tone for the workshop, participants were led using an interactive and instant analytic tool to discuss availability, accessibility and acceptance of Gender information in Nigeria. A central issue that kept cropping up during the discussion was the issue of data, where to get it from and how data collected by civil society organisations can be validated to enable its acceptability by government.
Key points raised by participants included:
- Information on the Gender Data Bank at National Centre for Women Development (NCWD). This was shared by the Director Training, Ms. Joan Junmai Idonijie.
- Accessibility of data generated by citadels of learning. Prof. Olabisi Aina of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade – Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode stated that most of the researches undertaken by Universities are funded by institutions who have patent on the output. Hence, Universities are prevented from releasing such to the public without permission.
- Synergy among advocates is essential to overcome the challenges of cross sharing and to create an enabling environment for gender equality.
The high point of the meeting of minds was the emergence of a group called Nigeria Gender Hub Network, a network of people with a common interest aligned to the goal of the V4C Gender Hub which is to increase access to and usage of gender-focused research, knowledge and information in Nigeria.
Dr. Munirat Ogunlayi (V4C Deputy Team Leader) thanked the participants for their presence and enjoined them to use their influence to get people under their influence to take part in subsequent trainings offered by the V4C Gender Hub.