We are proud to partner with the first National Conference on Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity. The conference which took place over two days on the 12th and 13th September, including a pre-conference on the 11th September, drew an audience of over 500 people including policy-makers, government representatives, and social activists. For those of you who were not able to attend, here are a few highlights and takeaways.
- Inclusivity is higher on the agenda than ever before – over the two days of the conference and the pre-conference, issues of inclusivity across Nigerian society – including ethnicity, sexuality, gender and politics were raised and debated in the context of academic research.
- There is increasing research on LGBT related issues in Nigeria – Several papers presented at the conference directly researched areas related to sexual identity and/or attitudes to sexual diversity in Nigeria.
- There is still a lot of room for education on the difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity – while the debate on sexuality was broadly positive and constructive – there is still a lot of misconception within academic and non-academic audiences in terms of sexual behavior and sexual identity.
- TIERs Session: TIERs hosted a session presenting some research from across the academic field. The papers presented included the following:
Measuring HIV Prevention Impact on Key Affected Population through Community Town Hall Meeting, Youth Builders Initiative, Lagos
Socio-Economic and Environmental Background and Attitudes of Youth towards Same-Sex Union and Families in Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria, John Lekan Oyefara, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences University of Lagos, Nigeria
Perceptions on Same-Sex Marriage and Diverse Sexual Expressions among Undergraduates of University of Lagos, Akoka, Eborka Kennedy Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences University of Lagos, University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Knowledge Attitude and Factors affecting the practice of sexuality education among parents in Alimosho LGA, Lagos Remy-Kingsley E. O, Okafor IP, Olatona F, Department of Community Health & Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
Being with Others: Metaphysics of Social Relations , Mike Oni, Jim Ijenwa Unah Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos
Sexual Diversity & Minorities, Programming For Change And Advocacy, Emmanuella David-ette, TIP for Human Rights In Nigeria (THRIN) Abuja
Virtual Spaces And Adolescents Persons In Nigeria, Should We Be Worried: Lessons From Baseline Study Among University Students In North-Central Nigeria. Ifekandu C C, Ugal D, Adakaa S, Akpa, B, School of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Sociology, Federal
- The keynote address for the conference, delivered by Professor Ukpokolo – his address on ‘The Imperative for inclusivity, equality and diversity discourse in the quest for holistic solution to problems’. On the issues of sexual minorities, he stressed that differences of opinion might exist in relation to sexual orientation but discriminatory legislation was not the forum for addressing these.
- Inclusivity for better health outcomes– The need for inclusivity as a means of strengthening fragile responses to health crises like the HIV/AIDs crisis was a strong theme of the conference, underscored by a dramatization of these issues presented by (Nigeria Youth Network on HIV/AIDS) NYENETHA.
The conference secretariat announced the intention for the conference to take place every two years – with the intention also of developing an institute, in partnership with the University of Lagos, which will focus on exploring issues of inclusivity, equality and diversity. Further updates on next steps and progress will be published on the conference website: http://inclusivity2017.com/