By Abubakar Yunusa Abuja
Ford Foundation’s flagship global fellowship program with a $50 million investment to support emerging leaders around the world has announced Invictus Africa Executive Director, Adebukola (Bukky) Shonibare, as a 2021 Ford Global Fellow.
Invictus Africa is a non-governmental organisation that promotes human rights and addresses inequalities affecting vulnerable and disadvantaged people through evidence-based advocacies, legal reviews, and capacity development.
Invictus Africa, Head, Programs and Communications, Tawakalit Kareem confirmed the announcement in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, yesterday.
The statement partly read; “As one of two fellows from Nigeria and four from West Africa, Bukky Shonibare is among the 48 global fellows joining the inaugural (2020) cohort of 24 to be supported by Ford Foundation as they actively work to combat injustice and inequalities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic in their different countries, while nurturing and learning from each other to design and reimagine solutions to inequality.
“The rate of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria spiked because of COVID-19, exacerbating existing gender inequalities; coupled with successive large-scale abductions of schoolchildren, denying boys and girls their right to education, a reality that has peeled back years of advancement in girls’ education, with potentially serious consequences if unaddressed”
In her acceptance remark, “We must promote wide and in-depth understanding of gender issues while collaborating with relevant state and non-state actors on effective strategies. All girls in Nigeria should have the right to education and opportunity with safety and freedom.”
The statement however stated that, with support from OSIWA, Invictus Africa is implementing the “Prevention, Accountability, Support (PAS)” Project, designed to prevent Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), demand accountability from duty bearers, and provide support to SGBV survivors.
“ Invictus Africa recently developed and launched “Orange Pages,” a national directory of SGBV Responders and Service Providers in Nigeria.