The Affirmative Action Initiative for Women, (NCAA) formally known as National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA)is an umbrella organization of women’s rights non- governmental groups whose mission is the promotion of affirmative action for increased participation of women in politics and public life in Nigeria as well as the domestication of international human rights instruments that promote women’s rights.
NCAA is committed to the domestication of the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) and the protocol to the African Charter on Human and peoples’ Rights on the rights of women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol).
The NCAA came into being on the 23rd of September, 2003 at the end of a 2- day International Public Hearing on Affirmative Action for increasing Women’s Political Participation in Nigeria held in Abuja. The Public Hearing created a forum for CSOs, legislators and women’s right Activists to discuss the need to adopt affirmative action as a strategy for increasing women’s political participation in Nigeria. Participants agreed that the domestication of CEDAW was the immediate pressing need as it would provide the legal framework to situate women’s demands for affirmative action.
The Abuja declaration was issued at the end of the public hearing and one of the recommendations was the setting up of a broad based coalition of women’s rights activists to focus efforts on the domestication of CEDAW and the protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa also known as the Maputo Protocol.
As a result, the NCAA was inaugurated at the Civil Society Roundtable on Affirmative Action organized as part of activities of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)in Abuja, 2003.
The NCAA, which is registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), is run by a coordinating Committee comprising all state coordinators and the National Coordinator. At the apex of the organogram of the coalition is the Board of Trustees.
The Advocacy committee and the drafting committee assist the coordinating committee. At the State level, the coordinators and secretaries oversee the activities of the coalition working with other NGOs that make up membership of the branch. Membership of the coalition is open to CSOs working on Women’s rights or who support affirmative action.
The NCAA is presently collaborating with the women’s committees of Senate, House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly, and Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development at the national and state levels to advocate for the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities bill. The bill has been passed into law in Imo, Anambra, Kogi, Ekiti and Plateau states. The legislative advocacy process for the passage of the bill is going on in Edo, Abia, Ebonyi, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna and Enugu.
The NCAA Enugu State has over the years been working on instilling sound values in the youth through public awareness / education by organizing in school sensitization workshops on transparency, integrity, accountability and anti – corruption in schools and communities. One of such activities was a one day sensitization at Girl High School Nenwe and Community secondary school Okpanku in Aninri LGA of Enugu State. The National Secretariat of the NCAA is located at the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Center (CIRDDOC), 16 fifth Avenue, City Layout , New- Haven, Enugu.
NCAA has been supported in the past by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in the project ”Affirmative Action for increased Participation of Women in politics: From project to Policy Change” project as well as IPAS.
NCAA is presently being supported by Voices for Change (V4C) a project of DFID. NCAA has a publication to its credit titled “Affirmative Action for Women in politics: From projects to Policy Change, A National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) Project Experience Dissemination Publication”. NCAA produces a quarterly newsletter titled (Gender Issues, 50:50 by 2015 working on the domestication of CEDAW and the Protocol to the African Chatter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of women in Africa since 2007.
NCAA has engaged in simplification, publication and dissemination of CEDAW, AU Protocol and other publication on affirmative Action. Also, NCAA has conducted legislative retreats, advocacy visits, constituency fora, capacity building and mentoring of female politicians at State and federal levels.
NCAA has also received another stream of funding from UNFPA for the purpose of improving the knowledge of law enforcement officers on some gender based issues. To this end, law enforcement officers were trained on the management and prosecution of sexual and gender based violence.
A society where gender discrimination is eradicated
Increasing women’s participation in politics and public life as well as domesticating international human rights instruments that promote women’s rights in Nigeria.
NCAA exist to enhance her capacity to promote affirmative action to increased participation of all genders in politics and public life through Education, information dissemination, Research, documentation, prompt service provision and delivery, legislative advocacy and Monitoring.
Teamwork, Accountability, Transparency, Indusiveness, Justice and Equity