As part of Bechtel’s commitment to contribute 100 ideas to support the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we highlight the approach of Chevron’s Niger Delta Partnership Initiative to promote gender equity in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
Sustainable Development Goal #5
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
5.c: Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.
The Niger Delta generates nearly 80 percent of Nigeria’s revenue, yet the majority of the population remains in poverty and the region has been affected by persistent violent conflict. Women are critical to the sustainable development efforts in the region, but their unique contributions to conflict prevention and local commerce are often unrecognized or unsupported.
The Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI) has been promoting gender equality in the Niger Delta region through our operations, programs, and projects since its founding in 2010. Together with our implementing partner, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), we place gender equality at the center of our efforts to promote peace and economic opportunity. One of our guiding principles is to integrate gender and youth participation and mainstreaming their issues into every aspect of economic development and peace building to foster equitable participation and benefits for all.
We have found the following elements to be key contributors to empower women and girls in the Niger Delta.
Embed gender into policy and planning. Research and data drove us to embed gender equality in all our efforts to achieve our goals of economic development and peacebuilding. Our gender policy calls for a sustained focus on existing commitments for women and girls, especially in conflict and crisis, and a greater focus on ensuring no woman or girl is left behind, including those with disabilities. The policy seeks a more effective response on gender equality across the board, contributing to accelerated delivery of the UN SDGs.
Integrate gender into programming. All our programs include a gender component, and we focus specifically on including women in our programs and activities. For example, PIND’s community peace network is increasingly showing women’s active involvement as participants and leaders influence conflict management and peacebuilding decisions in communities. And our economic development work targets women farmers and businesses. Some of our results include:
- Nearly 40 percent of all participants in PIND’s programs and projects are women. The Partners for Peace network, our grassroots-focused peace movement, included over 1,200 women directly involved in conflict prevention and resolution last year alone.
- In 2018 we reached 10,000 women with information on agriculture and business practices through our Economic Development programming on aquaculture, cassava, palm oil, and business linkages efforts.
- Last year, we provided skills training for nearly 450 young girls ages 16-26 through our Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathways project.
Monitor, evaluate, and reflect. We monitor and track the number of women involved in our programs and use that data to understand how we are doing and where we need to accelerate new types of activities or outreach. We work to reflect on and recognize those activities that are most successful in promoting our focus on gender.
Partnership. No one organization can tackle such a significant problem alone. We are an active member of the Development Partners’ Group on Gender, a group of development organizations working to achieve gender justice and women’s empowerment, coordinated by UN Women. In order to increase our reach, every year we commemorate International Women’s Day by organizing dialogues and outreach on the theme for the year. We also provide gender-focused organizations with small grants to raise awareness and drive further action to reduce gender-based violence, in concert with the 16 Days Campaign to eliminate of all forms of violence against women.
There is always more room for creativity and outreach to increase gender equality in our programming and impact. However, we have found that our approach helps us to keep a focus on our plans and goals, and ensure that we continue to push ourselves to review, adjust, and advance our efforts to promote gender equality.
Learn more about our approach to gender by visiting our website: https://pindfoundation.org/gender-mainstreaming/
NDPI, a U.S.-based nonprofit established by Chevron Corporation, works with market-based, community-owned programs to mitigate conflict and boost opportunities for local businesses. We coordinate on-the-ground action through the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND)