By Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, recently conducted a capacity building workshop for 30 women Groups on policy influencing and Advocacy in Bayelsa State
FIDA Bayelsa State with the leadership of FIDA Nigeria in collaboration and support from Canada fund for Local Initiatives (CLFI) gave technical support to Eunice Nnachi Women Advocacy Foundation, ENWAF, Starz Safety Initiative, standup for women Society, SWS and other 27 nongovernmental organizations.
According to the Bar.Ifeanyi Eze “the reason for the policy influencing and advocacy program is to provide a comprehensive and accessible guide for individuals, organizations, and advocacy groups committed to driving positive change through effectively policy influencing.
“By offering practical insights, strategic frameworks, and actionable tools, to empower advocates with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexity or policy environments, articulate compelling arguments and mobilize stakeholders for impactful advocacy campaigns.
” With a focus on inclusivity, evidenced based practices, ethical engagement, in order to foster a community of informed and empowered advocates capable of influencing policies that address the pressing issues of our time and contribute to the betterment of society at large.”.
He noted that, advocacy is the act of supporting a cause or proposal, aiming to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions.
” It involves activities such as influencing public policy, laws, and budgets, as well as helping individuals express their views, stand up for their rights, and find their voice.”
He said, there are three main types of advocacy: self-advocacy, individual advocacy, and systems advocacy. Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to communicate their own interests and rights, while individual advocacy involves standing up for vulnerable people, and systems advocacy focuses on changing policies, laws, or rules that impact how someone lives their life.
He therefore urged the organizations to work in Synergy, hence advocacy plays a crucial role in amplifying voices, raising awareness, influencing decision-making, and driving positive change at both the individual and community levels.