Dissemination Meeting on Partnerships for Equity and Inclusion (PEI) Project

A cross section of participants with the ED, TCF Arc, Mrs Adetayo Erinle

Partnerships for Equity and Inclusion (PEI) was a Pilot Research for adolescent girls missing from the radar of development led by University of Leeds in 4 international locations including Myanmar, Nigeria, Kenya, Vietnam.

Change Managers International Network led the research in Nigeria, supported by University of Abuja Centre for Gender Studies and Tabitha Cumi Foundation.

The research aims at identifying drivers of exclusion that maintain or create inequalities which negatively influence the Education, Health and Livelihood of Adolescent Girls in Nigeria but with emphasis on the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Focus group discussion with some of the participants

It was qualitative research and adopted a participatory method. This enabled the ordinary people that is “the girl child missing from the radar of development”, play an active and influential part in decisions which affect their lives. This means that they are not just listened to but also heard and that their voices shape outcomes of the research.

Adolescent girls conducted interviews of their adolescent peers and community leaders in 10 communities in the 6 Area Councils of FCT, Abuja, namely:  Abaji, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, and Kwali. The languages of the interview were English, Pidgin (Nigerian English) Hausa, Gagara, and Gbagyi (local Nigerian languages).

This boosted the girls’ confidence and helped them to take strong decisions and actions on behalf of girls and support of girls’ education and wellbeing within their communities.

Key Informant Interview with a community leader

A dissemination meeting was held, and findings was shared with the relevant stakeholders present.

The meeting had in attendance, representative of the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Shuaib, Mrs Felicia Onibon (President CMIN), Prof. Ekundayo Ocholi (Former Director, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Abuja), Adetayo Erinle (ED TCF), community leaders, girls, and other stakeholders. The findings from the research which were disseminated were as follows:

  • Policy and social factors: The Child Rights Act prohibits exploitative labour of the child but issues that revolve around Child labour and exploitation were noticeable in the communities visited despite the Child Rights Act, there are no Government policies or provision for adolescent girls which is the major reason they are out of the radar of development.
  • Organisation-level factors. In as much as the girls and some of the stakeholders agreed that there should be opportunities for the girls to participate in decision making at all levels, it was observed that these candid and valid opinions are in contrast with the prevailing situations in these communities as women and girls are rarely carried along in decision making.
  • Community/individual-level outcomes: The influence of culture and societal expectations in the community visited has certain implications on the adolescent girls’ education. A respondent from a community visited in Abaji, a community leader, noted that there is fear amongst families and community members that girls who go as far as having university education have a higher tendency of marrying “strange men” from outside the community. This worry was never expressed for the boy child during the interview. This explains why most of the girls never went beyond secondary school.

A cross section of participants at the dissemination meeting

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