1 July 2022 
Abuja, Nigeria

We, 150 young women and stakeholders from Africa and the diaspora; civil society organizations, activists, politicians, diplomats, representatives of intergovernmental organizations, representatives of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Nalafem Council members gathered on the 1st of July 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria for the Inaugural Nalafem Summit to reiterate our commitment to advancing the rights of African women and girls.

Our four calls to action are about;
(1) Increasing in number and influence young women in politics, (2) Decolonizing culture, (3) Ending sexual and gender based violence and (4) Ensuring accountability.

Young women in politics

We recognize that African women and girls are the guarantee to the growth and development of any society, and Africa is not in shortage of competent women. We also recognize that there is not a single uniformed approach to feminism as we live in different contexts, realities and thought structures and situations that call for different priorities. To this, inclusiveness and contextualization are critical. We recognize that counting the number of women in power is not enough to achieve gender justice. We are interested in how much power and influence women hold and how safe these spaces of power are for them.

Therefore we call for:

  1. Feigning ignorance to the barriers in place against young women participation in politics, as it is a form of violence
  2. Ensuring greater inclusion of youth, particularly young women, into parliaments and policy implementation processes
  3. Playing our roles as stakeholders in moving gender parity in politics forward

Decolonizing culture

We recognize that some cultural practices hinder women from achieving their full potential, dreams and aspirations. Those barries include inherited systems from the colonial leg and are set up to marginalize not only women, but everyone who is economically disadvantaged, making these systems a tool for discrimination and exclusion. The brain drain is also a reality for Africa as the best minds continue to leave the continent in droves as the operational systems do not foster inclusivity, support for equity and fairness in all sectors.

Therefore we call for:

  1. Finding solutions that deconstruct colonial systems by making them more indigenous, inclusive and favorable for diversity
  2. Strengthening feminist collectives and networks of women who collaborate and shun competition
  3. Dismantling the patriarchal systems that affect women and girls, and looking inwards to strengthen our sisterhood and be our sisters’ keepers

Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence

We recognize that Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is a daily lived experience for many women and girls in Africa, and beyond. We also recognize that SGBV survivors are not just stories, but people with experiences. We must admit the fact that there is a lack of funds to young feminists working in the space of ending SGBV as well as gaps in the interagency coordiantion that limit data correlation amongst institutions and make the justice process difficult for survivors.

Therefore we call for:

  1. Guaranteeing access to sexual and reproductive health and rights including information and services
  2. Adopting and enforcing progrssive policies to protect survivors of SGBV such as the Violence Against Persons’ Prohibition Act in Nigeria, the Kampala Convention and the Maputo Protocol
  3. Advocating for the implementation of child rights laws to ensure ending child marriages
  4. Investing in girls’ education and training to ensure their consciousness of their rights
  5. Establishing coordinated interministerial and interagency committees and funding on ending SGBV

Ensuring Accountability

We recognize that accountability is a critical part of any process, and civil society is key in holding member states and policy-makers accountable to their commitments through the different levels of decision-making, from the high-level decision-making tables to the communities. Accordingly, we commit to using the opportunities and platforms available to advocate for what is right, and what we heard from young women.

 Therefore we call for:

  1. Holding governments accountable to auditing laws that are discriminatory towards women and girls
  2. Holding leaders of faith accountable to their key responsibility in ending the culture of silence on gender inequality
  3. Holding policy-makers accountable for the implementation of policies that protect women and girls
  4. Amplifying the voices of women and girls in Nigeria and across the African continent
  5. Building multigenerational movements that end the exclusion of women in all their intersections

Sign The Declaration

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