Comité Nigérien sur les Pratiques Traditionnelles ayant effet sur la santé des femmes et des enfants
is the International Women Communication Centre. It is an ideal conceived of by a group of women's rights activists in February 1993 at the end of the International Interdisciplinary Congress of Women conference. The conference, held in Costa Rica, focused on the need to improve the communication network with grassroots women in Nigeria, and Africa, as a whole.
IWCC-Nigeria is a locally
based women's organization in Ilorin, in Kwara state. Our mandate is to
find various means to disseminate information from the international network
to Nigerian women at the grassroots level. Because of our location in Kwara
state, we serve as branch office to various international NGOs, including
the west-African office of the Pan-African Women Liberation
Organization (PAWLO), International Alliance of Women Politicians (IAWP), Help Women in Distress, Women's Voice on Radio Link, Groot-Super Coalition, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW), and WINGS Nigeria Information Gathering on Women.
The strategies we use to
deliver information to women without Internet access are: we hold weekly
meetings in which we share information received over the Internet with
local women's organizations and UN bodies; we print local news letters
in local languages; we distribute pamphlets on market day to women; we
produce video documentaries on current issues; we run a resource centre
(library), which is free access, and we display posters around town where people can see and read them.
One of our case studies,
documenting the women victims of the 1966-70 Biafra war, brought sufficient
recognition of their plight to members of government that we helped to
win redress and compensation for these women. Our education programs have
helped to eliminate girl-child marriage. And IWCC has succeeded in the
campaign for the eradication of female child genital mutilation. Our
work has also helped to ratify the UN treaties and covenants on Women's Human Rights (e.g., CEDAW) in Nigeria.
We still have much work ahead of us. We now move on to other difficult tasks: eradicating the trafficking of Nigerian girls to Europe and the Middle East and the issue of child labour. We are thinking of establishing a radio station and running an enlightenment campaign on this subject.
We would be happy to provide more information to anyone who would like it. We also look forward to hearing of work by similar organizations.
Ms. Limota Goroso Giwa
International Women Communication Centre
PO Box 1750 Ilorin Kwara State Nigeria