Global Women’s Health, Rights and Empowerment Initiative (GWHREI) is a community based LBQ+ and sex worker led non-profit organization working to mainstream the rights, wellbeing, and inclusion of women in Nigeria. We believe in the power and agency of women and girls in all their diversities, irrespective of their SOGIESC identities and work to ensure their right to make informed choices over their bodies in dignity, access sexual and reproductive health and rights, achieve gender equality and thrive in a world that respects their fundamental human rights.
We apply decolonized feminist led principles from the context of the communities we work with to identify exclusionary tendencies for the most marginalized groups of women, ensuring that our programming, policies, and advocacies represent the needs and voices of the people we serve.
As a feminist organization, we adopt a human rights participatory approach across all our programming, recognizing that our communities of women have a central role to play in transforming the society to realize their rights and attain the highest standards of health and wellbeing. To advance this, we improve the capacities of the women we work with and for, through facilitated participatory learning and community accountability mechanism. Our engagements prioritize community participation that is inclusive of the most underserved communities of women, encouraging organized action and collaborations, for co-production. We promote power sharing for social transformation, and this trickles down to our needs assessment process and programming for solutions.
GWHREI works to provide holistic care for the communities we serve through healthcare service provision and destigmatization in mainstream healthcare systems. We address the unique health needs and challenges faced by women, LBQTI+ individuals and female sex workers, championing for accessible and inclusive healthcare services, promoting sexual and reproductive health rights, combating gender-based violence and supporting mental health initiatives for our communities. Intersecting with our education initiatives, we annually train clinicians and SRH practitioners on inclusive service delivery for marginalized women’s groups like the LBQT+ community and female sex workers, teaching them how to be more inclusive in their healthcare delivery. We address common myths that perpetuate stigma and exclusion, advancing programmatic efforts that can optimize healthcare availability and accessibility for diverse women communities.
- Abortion care
- Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)
- Prevention services and management of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Referral and linkage to healthcare service providers.
- Psychosocial support.
We also provide Post-SGBV care and Support. In a country where women are doubly victimized and shamed as victims of sexual and gender-based violence, poor resourcing for victim care and support reduces their ability to report abuse and seek for help. This in turn reduces accountability while increasing poor reporting. We provide direct services and linkage services for victim care and support.
Working in a historically patriarchal and misogynistic society, the existing systemic, institutional, and socio-cultural structures continue to hinder women’s access to political participation, economic opportunities, benefits, and rights as equal citizens of Nigeria. This is also worse for women who do not fit into the cis-heteronormative rhetoric and societal definition of gender, leading to the exclusion of transgender and nonbinary persons from meaningful participation and benefits in the society.
At GWHREI, we work to bridge this gender gap, ensuring meaningful inclusion from an intersectional lens, platforming the most marginalized communities amongst us and amplifying their voices to ensure recognition of diversity. Our feminist policies, methodologies, and programs action gender justice across board.
We engage in local, regional, and global policy spaces to shift power and advance gender-responsive policies and laws that promote and protect the fundamental Human Rights of the communities we serve. We challenge discriminatory laws, lobby, litigate and promote their legal protection. This requires partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders championing social justice. We also create spaces where our communities can directly speak to power and be a part of decision-making processes that impacts on their lives. We are committed to achieving a society where laws and policies promote and protect the lives, wellbeing, and dignity of diverse women.
We raise awareness about women’s rights, sensitize communities and leaders on LBQTI+ issues, educate on the rights and safety of female sex workers and conduct various educational initiatives for peer learning. This includes public campaigns, workshops, seminars, and online resources that promote societal acceptance, challenge stereotypes and foster understanding.
In the communities we work in, economic violence is a rampart form of gender-based violence, affecting the independence and stability of women and girls, deeply rooted in cultural norms, social inequality, and systemic discrimination. They are denied access to education, limited employment opportunities, unequal pay and denial of ownership and control over resources. This is worse for LBQT+ women who are on the margins with exclusion from socio-economic development. We work to enhance their participation in economic policymaking, establish and register their businesses, sharpen their innovativeness, and provide financial empowerment for startups. We also provide financing and technical support for existing women-led SMEs to expand their business, enhancing their economic power and social negotiation skills.
Through its daily practices, in the design, implementation, and monitoring of its initiatives and in the relations with other stakeholders, GWHREI is guided by values such as:
At the core of our work, is recognition and respect for diversity, ensuring that our programs, policies, and advocacies are inclusive, by applying an intersectional lens to the work we do, while holding not just other stakeholders accountable, but looking inward to ensure that we do not leave anyone behind.
Enabling empathic engagements both within and outside our organization ensures that we listen, see, and establish honest connections through our work. We cannot build sustainable support for our communities of women, if we do not understand them and this is integral to the work we do.
While adapting to change as we work, we stay true to our vision, mission, goals, and approaches. Consistency keeps us grounded and ensures that we stay true to our values.
At all times, we exemplify trustworthy and honest management of human and financial resources, active accountability before donors, represented persons and sincerity in the way we work together, internally as a team.
Solutions for us cannot be made without us and understanding this principle guided us to adopt co-creation throughout all our work methodologies. We want the women we program for and represent, to be an active part of the solutions we enable, shifting power structures and ensuring the integrity of our solutions.