This webinar will be a conversation between two leading women activists (one Muslim, one Christian) who work at communal, regional, national, and international levels to promote and protect girls’ and women’s rights in present-day Nigeria, especially in conflict regions. They will discuss their respective areas of strategic focus and advocacy, whether legal policy or peacebuilding, and assess recent achievements and ongoing challenges. Both speakers are highly attentive to the role of religion and culture in their work, notably the ways in which religious ideologies and cultural traditions shape perceptions of women’s subjugation or empowerment. Three key questions to be explored are:
1. Do women’s lives matter more or less in a country plagued by ethnoreligious conflicts and general insecurity?
2. Is there evidence of greater agency and leadership of women in response to the rise of interreligious and/or intercommunal conflicts in recent times? and
3. Does an engagement with women’s lives provide a salient barometer for assessing SDG goals and development practices more generally in Nigeria?
In conclusion, the speakers will critically reflect on their experiences of working with government, religious leaders and a range of domestic and international NGOs to promote social harmony and women’s rights in postcolonial Nigeria, as well as their future advocacy work.