Entries by Rejoice

Alliances for Africa (AfA) Situation Analysis of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Imo State.

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FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE – Alliances for Africa Stands Firm Against Sexual Harassment: Demands Sustainable System Change in Tertiary Institution.



Alliances for Africa Stands Firm Against Sexual Harassment: Demands Sustainable System Change in Tertiary Institutions

Alliances for Africa, a leading feminist organization championing gender justice and human rights across the continent, is deeply concerned about the recent allegations of sexual harassment at the University of Calabar. We recognize the gravity of the situation and firmly stand against any form of sexual harassment in educational institutions.

The allegations of sexual harassment involving the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon, have rightfully sparked outrage and concern. Such incidents undermine the dignity and well-being of students and erode the integrity of the educational environment.

Alliances for Africa commends the University of Calabar’s management for taking immediate actions to address this issue, including the establishment of a committee to investigate the allegations and the involvement of external bodies such as UNICAL Alumni, the Federation of Female Lawyers, and the Federal Public Complaints Commission. These actions demonstrate a commitment to transparency and accountability.

However, it is essential to recognize that addressing sexual harassment requires more than just responding to individual cases. It demands a holistic approach to create lasting change. It requires ensuring all systems and settings that promote unequal power dynamics,  victimization, intimidation, inequality, abuse and violation of human rights within the institution are addressed. These structural systems create an environment where such violations are more likely to occur, making educational institutions unsafe for the girl child.

Is it not disheartening  that a survey conducted in 2018 by the World Bank Group’s Women has it that 70 per cent of female graduates from Nigerian tertiary institutions have been sexually harassed in school, with the main perpetrators being classmates or lecturers?

Therefore, Alliances for Africa calls for the following systemic reforms in tertiary institutions across Nigeria, and Africa:

  • Comprehensive Anti-Harassment Policies: Develop and enforce comprehensive anti-sexual harassment and prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (PSEAH) policies that clearly define prohibited conduct, establish transparent reporting mechanisms, and protect survivors’ rights.
  • Gender-Sensitive Education: Incorporate gender-sensitive education into the curriculum to promote respect, equality, and consent, fostering a culture of mutual respect among students and staff.
  • Create Reporting Mechanisms:

Establish confidential and anonymous reporting mechanisms for students and staff   to report incidents of harassment, abuse, or power imbalances and ensure that individuals who report are protected from retaliation.

  • Empowerment of Survivors: Provide robust support services for survivors, hospital referrals, including counselling, legal aid, and access to confidential reporting channels.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life, ensuring that every member of the academic community, including the marginalised and vulnerable groups, feels valued and respected.
  • Training and Awareness: Implement mandatory training programs for all faculty, staff, and students to raise awareness about sexual harassment and its consequences. Including a thorough acceptance and understanding of safeguarding policies by staff and students.
  • External Oversight: Establish external oversight mechanisms to monitor and evaluate institutions’ compliance with prevention of sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment  (PSEAH) anti-harassment policies and practices.
  • Zero Tolerance: Enforce a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment, with strict consequences for perpetrators, including legal action where applicable.

Alliances for Africa believes that tertiary institutions should be safe spaces for learning, personal growth, and the pursuit of knowledge. We call on the  Gender Units of all Nigerian institutions to rise and be a voice of  awareness and protections of students in their institutions. We call upon all African universities particularly Nigeria to adopt these reforms and work collectively to eradicate sexual harassment from our campuses.

We commend the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for its proactive response in setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the allegations against Prof. Cyril Ndifon, we appreciate the Civil Society Organizations already rising to condemn this inhumane act. This demonstrates the legal community’s commitment to justice and accountability. This is another case out of the spoken and unspoken cases and the solution lies in dismantling all the faulty systems that promote sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.

We remain resolute in our mission to ensure gender justice  and a world free from all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. We stand with the students of the University of Calabar and all survivors of sexual harassment, offering our unwavering support.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Iheoma Obibi

Executive Director

Alliances for Africa

World Bank, Owerri, Imo State


On the 20th of April 2023, we had great moments learning at our One- day Workshop on #Increasing the knowledge and Popularization of the Protocol to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights (Maputo Protocol)on the Rights of Women in Imo State.
Emphasis were laid on Articles 4, 9 and 14.  At the end, copies of the simplified Maputo Protcol was shared to participants to enhance their understanding of the protocol.
A participant said, “I used to call it Matonto Prot. As you can see now I can call the name “Maputo Protocol” well. I even have a copy now to digest and reach out. Thank you Alliances for Africa!
We are on a mission… #DomesticateTheMaputoProtocolNow
Thank you to our partners for strengthening us!

Accountability, Inclusion and Voter Education – CISLAC

Did you know?

By voting, you can help shape the policies and decisions made by elected officials. It is an opportunity to voice your opinion, support candidates or parties that align with your values and beliefs, and contribute to the democratic process. Voting can also influence the outcome of elections and determine who will represent your interests.

To fulfill your responsibility as a voter,  this is way to go!

Register to vote: Ensure that you are registered as a voter in your jurisdiction. Check the requirements and deadlines for voter registration in your country or region.

Educate yourself: Learn about the candidates, their positions on important issues, and their track records. Understand the policies and initiatives that are being proposed. Research the parties or individuals running for office to make informed choices.

Participate in debates and discussions: Engage in conversations with friends, family, and community members about the election. Share and exchange viewpoints, listen to different perspectives, and challenge your own assumptions.

Go to the polling station:  Power still lies with the people. On the day of the election, visit your designated polling station during the given voting hours. Follow the instructions provided and cast your vote confidentially. NO VIOLENCE!

Encourage others to vote:  Spread awareness about the importance of voting and encourage others to participate in the electoral process. Engage in discussions and promote civic participation within your community.


Voting is an individual decision, and it’s essential to exercise your right responsibly by considering the information available and making choices based on your values and the issues that matter to you.

Alliances for Africa TV Program

The Woman's Advocate Live on NTA Owerri

We had an enriched 5 slots Live TV program anchored by Ada Oke on the Civil Status of Women in Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, funded by UNTF. 


Click on the link to watch



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School based sensitization at Ikenegbu Girls Secondary School, Owerri

We had a great engagement with the students of Comprehensive Secondary School Obinze, Imo State earlier today.🤗
The students learnt the body traffic sign amongst others.
At the end they could tell where a touch is- Red and signifies danger, where a touch is Green and the Yellow touch. They learnt to “speak out!”
One of the male students recapping his learning during the sensitization said “Today, I learnt to stay away from harming girls, I learnt to avoid all those people that smoke those things, (drugs)I learnt hygiene…”
He smiled as he continued to share his learnings.
We are on a mission to End Violence against Women and Girls in the State and school sensitization is part of our strategies.
#Girls! Power!
#Boys! Protect!
Boys and Girls we move!👌


Our team was in a sensitization program today in Okigwe, Imo State to equip community men and women with the right information to make better decisions and improve their lives.
We are on a mission to End Violence against Women and Girls in the State and ensuring that the people are educated on the provisions of the VAPP Law to protect women and girls and the consequences of defaulting is a step in the right direction.

Alliances for Africa observe International Widows Day in solidarity with the Rights and Protection of Widows globally.





Alliances for Africa observe 2023 International Widows Day in solidarity with the Rights and Protection of Widows globally.


Today, as the world observes International Widows Day, Alliances for Africa joins hands with individuals, organizations, and communities globally to raise awareness about the challenges faced by widows and advocate for their rights and empowerment. This annual day, celebrated on June 23rd, presents an opportunity to shed light on the plight of widows and work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive society for them.

According to the United Nations Trust Fund on Ending Violence Against Women, widows, who number over 258 million worldwide, have historically been overlooked, unsupported, and marginalized in our societies. Nigeria alone is estimated to have approximately 15 million widows, with factors such as the rise of Covid-19, ethnic conflicts, terrorism, violence, and health issues exacerbating the prevalence of widowhood and leaving more than 80% of these women in vulnerable circumstances due to the loss of their partners.

International Widows Day serves as a platform to spotlight the daily challenges, struggles, and discrimination faced by widows. For instance, consider the story of Hanna, a young widow in her early forties, who faced unimaginable challenges following the death of her husband. Her husband was tragically murdered by a relative, and without her consent, the perpetrators hastily carried away his body for burial on the same day. As if that weren’t enough, she and her children were immediately driven out of the family house, disregarding their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Shockingly, this incident took place in 2021, highlighting the continued victimization of widows.

The harmful cultural practice of “Nkuchi Nwanyi,” which involves the forceful inheritance of a widow by her deceased husband’s brother, is another issue of concern. In the Akabor community of Oguta, Imo State, the vulnerable women who resist or refuse this unjust tradition not only face the hardships of being stripped of their role as farmers on communal land but also endure the absence of support and protection they desperately need at this stage in their lives. This form of disinheritance is compounded by the denial of their rightful position if their deceased husband was the first son in the family, further subjecting them to economic, emotional, and psychological violence.

Additionally, the harmful practice of stigmatization and isolation of widows persists in the Amaigbo community, Imo State. This age-old culture, for which the community cannot provide justification, isolates widows from the palace regardless of weather conditions. This appalling practice perpetuates stigmatization, denies the freedom of association, and represents a complete contradiction to the domesticated Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law in the state, which aims to protect the rights of women.

We cannot ignore the various other forms of economic insecurity, stereotypes, and barbaric traditional practices widows face on a daily basis, including the dehumanizing rituals of hair shaving, ritual cleansing, and the drinking or bathing with corpse water. These practices have severe consequences on widows and perpetuate discrimination, reinforce gender inequalities, and hinder the overall development of our communities. They are acts of violence against women.

As a feminist organization dedicated to protecting and promoting gender justice, equality, and human rights, Alliances for Africa acknowledges the urgent need to address the vulnerabilities faced by widows in our communities. We strive to safeguard and advance the rights of widows in Nigeria and beyond, working towards a world where they can live with dignity and autonomy.

Widowhood is an inherently challenging period for any woman, marked by the loss of a loved one and the subsequent adjustments to a new life. The additional burden imposed by society and harmful widowhood practices further intensifies their suffering and violates their fundamental human rights. With the support of the United Nations Trust Fund on Ending Violence Against Women, we firmly reject harmful widowhood practices in all regions.

We say NO to patriarchy, which perpetuates gender inequalities and restricts the rights and opportunities of women. We vehemently oppose harmful widowhood practices in Imo State, Nigeria, and worldwide, and call upon women to support one another and refuse to participate in or allow the dehumanization of widows. Today’s challenges may become our own tomorrow if we fail to challenge the status quo.



On this 2023 International Women’s Day, we base our demands on the provisions of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law. According to Section 2, Subsection 17 (i) of the VAPP Law, every woman is entitled to the fundamental human rights guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Thus, no harmful widowhood practices should be imposed on any woman.

Enforcement of the VAPP Law:

We call for the establishment of the Imo Agency for the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons, a regulatory body that will ensure the implementation of the VAPP Law. This agency will serve as a legal framework to promote and protect the rights of widows, ensuring that perpetrators of harmful practices against widows face the full consequences of the law.

Economic Empowerment:

We advocate for the creation of economic empowerment initiatives to provide widows with vocational training, skill development programs, and access to financial resources. By encouraging entrepreneurship and inclusive employment opportunities, we enable widows to support themselves and their families.

Social Support System:

We urge the promotion of a social support system that fosters inclusive communities, providing emotional support and social networks for widows. This includes raising awareness about widowhood-related issues, combating stigma, and promoting empathy and understanding within society. Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of prioritizing the physical and mental health needs of widows by ensuring access to healthcare services, counseling, and support groups. Gender-sensitive healthcare policies should be promoted to address the unique challenges faced by widows.

Alliances for Africa remains resolute and committed to raising awareness through educational campaigns and engaging in dialogues that challenge societal norms and stereotypes associated with widowhood. We stand in solidarity with women everywhere.

Alliances for Africa is an African-led international non-governmental organization dedicated to human rights, peace, and sustainable development. Working with partners across Africa and beyond, we advocate for the protection of human rights, promote women’s participation in leadership and governance, build institutional capacity, advocate for gender justice, equality, and non-discrimination, and promote peace, security, and conflict resolution interventions.


Ms. Iheoma Obibi

Executive Director

Alliances for Africa

World Bank, Owerri, Imo State

Website: www.alliancesforafrica.org

Press Statement

For immediate release.

9th June, 2023

Refutation of Misinformation Regarding the VAPP Law

Press Statement

For immediate release.



Subject: Refutation of Misinformation Regarding the VAPP Law



Our attention has been drawn to an Interview granted by Dr. Philip Njemanze, Chairman of the Global Prolife Alliance (GPA), published on page 9 of the Nigerian Horn newspaper Vol. 16, No. 138 Friday 9th June 2023 captioned  “Imo VAPP law legalizes abortion, bans Holy Bible, ordains female Priests, crowns women Ezes” also on The Sun newspaper of Friday, June 9, 2023 captioned “VAPP Law legalizes abortion, same-sex marriage, bans holy books –Njemanze”.


We, the undersigned, hereby issue this press statement to refute the baseless and misleading claims made by Academician Dr. Philip Njemanze, Chairman of the Global Prolife Alliance (GPA), regarding the Imo Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2021. We would like to clarify that his statements are not grounded in factual evidence and are gross misinterpretation of the provisions outlined in the VAPP Law.

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) has been an astronomical increase  in Nigeria and   Imo state.  Daily cases of domestic violence, incest, defilement, rape, baby buying and selling, child trafficking, child marriage, and emotional, psychological, and economic violence. All are continually perpetrated against women and girls and people with disability without a clear law to protect and keep them safe in our environment, the only environment they inhabit.

According to  the https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/media/6696/file/16%20facts%20document.pdf

Almost one in three (31%) women aged 15- 49 have experienced physical violence in Nigeria,  1 in 4 girls, including very young ones, experience sexual violence, 1 in 6 girls are sexually abused, 86% of people presenting for medical attention due to sexual assault in health care facilities are women and girls, 2 in 3 women and girls experience violence by their husbands and boyfriends.  Nearly half of girls (43%) get married before their 18th birthday, while one in five girls is married by age 15. Unfortunately,  0.9% of perpetrators of sexual assault are brought to trial, and almost none of them are convicted.  What about people with disability? Outrageous data!

Recently, a young dwarf of about 18 years, less than 1 meter in height was raped by able-bodied men in a rural community in Imo State and is expected to walk back on the street as if no crime has been committed. The only stronghold such victims and potential victims hold on society for their continued safety and punishment of perpetrators lies in the 2021 VAPP Law.

What is the VAPP law? 

The 2021 VAPP law is a law that addresses violence against persons and its role is to protect individuals from various forms of violence, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, child abuse, and other related offenses. The law provides legal frameworks to prevent, prohibit, and punish acts of violence and provide support and protection for victims. The law also outlines punishment for perpetrators of violence against persons, which could male or female.

To understand the provisions and implications of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law in Imo State, please click the link https://alliancesforafrica.org/imo-state-violence-against-persons-prohibition-law-2021-vapp-law/

Addressing the issues Raised

Legalization of Abortion:  First, the word abortion was neither mentioned anywhere in the 2021 VAPP law signed into law nor was it legalised. Abortion remains illegal in Nigeria, and the VAPP Law does not change or override existing laws. It is essential to rely on accurate legal information rather than misleading interpretations being peddled.

Bans on Holy Bible and Holy Koran: The claim that the VAPP Law bans the use of the Holy Bible and Holy Koran is baseless and entirely false. The VAPP Law does not in any way and form interfere with religion and religious practices in any way. Religious freedom and the right to practice one’s faith are protected under the Nigerian Constitution. The VAPP law promotes freedom of choice.

Ordination of Female Priests: Like the false claim on Bans on Holy Bible and Koran,  The VAPP Law does not ordain female priests in the Holy Catholic Church or any other religious institution. Matters of religious ordination and practices are determined by the respective religious organizations and are not within the scope of the VAPP Law. This is also stipulated in Chapter 4 section 38 of the Nigerian constitution …  (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance

Crowning Women as Ezes: The assertion that the VAPP Law mandates the crowning of women as Ezes (traditional rulers) is unfounded. Traditional leadership structures and succession practices are governed by customary laws and traditions, and the VAPP Law does not interfere with these customs. However, the VAPP law speaks to ending all harmful traditional practices against women and girls, such as female genital mutilation, harmful widowhood practices and on women’s inheritance. Please get the right information!

The claims made by Dr. Philip Njemanze misrepresent the provisions of the VAPP Law and create unnecessary confusion and distraction among the public. We therefore urge the public and media outlets to verify information from reliable sources and consult legal experts  e.g Federation of Women Lawyers – FIDA to gain insights and an accurate understanding of the VAPP Law.

The VAPP Law was enacted with the aim of protecting individuals from all forms of violence and ensuring justice for victims. It is an important step toward promoting a safer and more equitable society. Continually we stand by the effectiveness and significance of the VAPP Law in addressing violence against persons and upholding human rights and are glad with the successes and testimonies received thus far.

We demand that Dr Njemanze retract these slanderous statements against the VAPP and set the fallacies he has set in motion right.

The Violence Against Person prohibition bill is a public document that all can access. There are no hidden clauses suggestive of the fallacies being spread by Dr Philip Njemanze. We urge the public to read through the VAPP law and call out Dr. Philip for false information.

The VAPP law should not be used as a campaign tool and the public needs to be aware that this is what Dr Njemanze is aiming to do.

We remain committed to promoting accurate information and fostering constructive dialogue around important legislative measures.

For any further clarification or inquiries, please reach out to us at afa@alliancesforafrica.org

Iheoma Obibi

Alliances for Africa

Owerri, Imo State