CISLAC hosts Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Social Protection in Yobe

NEWS DIGEST – Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre in collaboration with Save the Children International with the support from European Union hosted a Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Gender Dynamics and Territorial Governance on Social Protection on Wednesday 17th November, 2021 in Damaturu, Yobe State.

The event drew strategic participants from government, CSOs, Media and faith Based Organizations.  Members of the Academia were strategic in facilitating the process.

The Executive Director of CISLAC, Mallam Auwal Ibrahim Musa – Rafsanjani in is opening remarks had stressed that the event dwelt on critical questions such as: What role does social protection play in reducing gender inequality? How do men and women, boys and girls, experience risks and vulnerabilities? What resources can they draw from to cope with these different challenges? How Yobe State Social Protection policy and programmes be sensitive, or responsive, to gender dynamics within and across contexts? Can they help transform harmful social norms, power imbalances, and unequal gender relations, and if so, how?

Even when social protection programmes are designed with gender in mind, this does not always translate into actual implementation. Cases exist where social protection programmes are designed with gender-responsive work arrangements, but these are not respected in practice.

Recall that State Government is concluded the Zero Draft towards actualizing a Social protection regime in Yobe State.

Speaking at the event, the Program Manager for CISLAC had mentioned that the objective of the meeting was basically was to design Gender advocacy strategy for the Yobe State Social protection policy and mainstream them into the proposed legal framework by the Legislative Forum.

This gender agenda will feed into the progress report on the implementation as adequate monitoring tool will be designed in that direction. Recognizing that risks and vulnerabilities across the life-cycle are gendered means understanding how social protection programmes are designed, and importantly, the extent to which their design features are gender-responsive.

This is critical to ensuring that these programmes effectively address gender inequalities. Gender-responsive design also reflects the level of ambition and the types of gender equality objectives set by policymakers and implementers.

Some design features can have unintended consequences and risk perpetuating gender norms that prevent women from achieving full economic participation and decent work in their communities. Other features that do not reflect gender dynamics can fail to appropriately mitigate women’s and men’s risks. Consortium members in the state have found evidence of positive effects of social protection programmes on poverty reduction, food security, school enrolment and attendance, sexual and reproductive health knowledge and information, and contraceptive use. Some have also found positive effects on mental health, employment, and other important well-being outcomes.

Yet many questions remain. In particular, there is lack of evidence on how the multiple and multidimensional ways that risks and vulnerabilities (which social protection seeks to tackle) are gendered, and on how social protection policy and programmes reflect this in their design and implementation.

The meeting identified evidence base on social protection programmes and their effects on individual well-being has expanded across many low- and middle-income state. The state currently leads with the lowest income.