In Nigeria, there is high level of social injustice and violation of fundamental human rights of vulnerable groups, especially women. Women in general, wear the faces of poverty, HIV and AIDS, gender based violence, violation of their rights to sexual reproductive health and limited access to information to basic health and legal services.
The lesbians and bisexual women’s rights violation has escalated due to the social, traditional, religious, and cultural barriers, which have a tremendous impact on these women’s self-esteem and their abilities to develop clear voices to advocate for their basic human rights. The violations experienced by lesbians and bisexual women begin within their family, in their workplaces, educational institutions, health care facilities, social settings and religious institutions. When experiencing such violations of their rights, these women have limited to no access to legal services; this double discrimination greatly affect their physical and mental well-being. Heart problem, depression and anxiety are very common within the lesbians and bisexual community in Nigeria.
Women’s health and Equal Rights Initiative – WHER initiative is a non-profit organization, with the aim to promote deeper conceptual knowledge of sexuality, sexual orientation, and provide access to health and other support services to lesbians and bisexuals through research, education, training, advocacy, empowerment and other direct services. In addition, we aim to create a platform where we can reach out to families, community based organizations, youth groups to promote the rights of lesbians and bisexual women in Nigeria.
- To Promote the health, well-being, empowerment and human rights of lesbians, bisexuals and trans diverse women;
- To advocate for access to comprehensive health care services for LBT women in Nigeria;
- To develop and implement support mechanisms for lesbian, bisexual, trans diverse women victims of gender-based violence and other human rights violations, LBT living with HIV/AIDS and to provide a safe space to these women;
- To develop, produce and distribute sexual and reproductive health information specific to LBT women;
- To build the leadership and capacity of LBT women on health and human rights issues and and strengthen their advocacy skills.
- Organising focus group discussions to identify needs, risks and challenges of LBT in Abuja.
- Carry out a thorough census of the WSW in the zone.
- Conduct capacity and skill acquisition trainings and workshops.
- Carry out sensitization workshops for Allies and Families.
- Furnish the community centre with Educational materials about sexuality and sexual behaviours.
- Conduct all kinds of research on challenges and threats within the LBT community.
- Conduct health and human right training based on findings.
- Peer Education.
- Provision a safe space to the most vulnerable LBT.
- Development and production of IEC materials, posters, leaflets, T-Shirts and sex tools.
1. We provided sexual health and rights information to lesbian and bisexual women in the conservative North Central region of Nigeria based on the results of a sexual health questionnaire;
2. We conducted a successful needs assessment to uncover the needs and risks facing lesbian, bisexual and trans diverse women in Nigeria.
3. In collaboration with International Center of Advocacy on the Right to Health (ICARH), on International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, wE participated in a candlelight memorial for the LGBTI community members who died of AIDS.
4. We mobilized and networked with other lesbians women and collaborated with other NGOs to advocate for LBT rights.
5. From February-March 2011, in collaboration with the Queer African Youth Networking Center-QAYN, WHER successful conducted a census of the LBT community in the Federal capital Territory.
6. In July 2011, in Collaboration with QAYN, WHER conducted a needs assessment on LBT women’s understanding and knowledges of human rights laws related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Our Community Partners and Allies
- International Centre for Advocacy on the Right to Health (ICARH)
- Queer Alliance (QA)
- The Initiative For Equal Rights (TIERs)
- Queer African Youth Networking Centre (QAYN)
- International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (INCRESE)
- Our Rights Our Life (OROL) Foundation
- Male Attitude Networks (MAN)