V4C - Voices 4 Change Nigeria

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Legal frameworks prescribe how one must act , which may or may not be aligned with what other influences (i.e. informal rules) dictate. However, when formal rules are recognised and enforced, they can be a powerful part of the social change process.

Legal FrameworkV4C recognises that the legal framework for gender equality is weak and there are myriad pieces of legislation required to strengthen it. While V4C considered a range of potential legal frameworks to target, it was decided that the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEO Bill) and the Violence Against Persons Bill (VAPP Bill) would have the greatest impact; both in terms of advancing the passage of the Bills, and the desirable impact on adolescent girls and women.

V4C has identified two main challenges within the context of legal frameworks: laws are difficult to pass, and even more difficult to enforce. Considering these challenges, V4C’s investment is best channelled to building on the work of existing partners in legal reform and strengthening legislative institutions, processes, and systems.

For these reasons, V4C has selected two coalitions that are leading the process to get the two bills mentioned above passed.

  1. National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) – to push for passage of the GEO Bill
  2. Legislative Advocacy Coalition on Violence Against Women (LACVAW) – to push for passage of the VAPP Bill

V4C has awarded grants to the coalitions to influence and support their initiatives. These grants will aid in the implementation of various interventions focused on achieving a greater inclusion of girls and women’s issues in political and governance processes in Nigeria.

As part of its efforts to strengthen legal frameworks, V4C is also supporting the Gender Technical Unit (GTU) within the National Assembly. GTU is the only gender focused legislative mechanism that provides technical support to legislators and acts as a bridge between civil society, development partners and the legislators on gender specific issues.

V4Cs support to GTU is in form of two consultants that manage the unit, and provide technical assistance to Legislators, Aides and Clerks on gender issues. Supporting the GTU will increase the responsiveness of the legislative arm of government at the federal level to gender equality demands and ease advocacy efforts of coalitions that V4C is supporting on the passage of the VAPP & GEO Bills.