Founding Director of WARDC, Dr. Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode
For its contribution to human rights and justice for women and girls in Nigeria, the National Human Rights Commission has awarded the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) the best Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in the country. The award was initiated to encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedom in Nigeria. It recognises the exceptional work of individuals, government institutions and CSOs contributing to the development and promotion of human rights.
The Executive Director, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, received the award on behalf of WARDC at an event held recently at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
Other runner ups that were recognised for their efforts in promoting and protecting human rights are Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Action Aid Nigeria, Global Rights Nigeria and Project Alert on Violence Against Women.
WARDC was founded in 2000 by a group of young, dynamic feminist lawyers with a mission to rid the Nigerian society of all forms of discrimination against women and girls. Overtime, it has become a leading organisation in the country, contributing to women’s leadership, addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and promoting and connecting women’s voice and participation through advocacy, research, policy engagement, campaign, mobilisation, movement building and legal representation for adolescent girls and women.
Rooted within the women’s movement, the group has contributed immensely to the movement in Nigeria. It has contributed to the development of human rights, leading young feminist leadership in schools through the Purple Club established in 2013 with membership across Nigeria. Recently, it launched Red Card Club being led by young women across 33 tertiary institutions in the country.
WARDC has worked in collaboration with Network of Women with Disability, sex workers and persons with unique sexual orientation. It has provided legal aid and counselling for women and girls in the last decade, having responded to over 5000 indigent women across Nigeria and an average of 450 court cases across states.