Women’s Health and Equal Rights (WHER) Initiative advances the rights and promotes the wellbeing of lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women in Nigeria through advocacy, education, empowerment, and research. The nonprofit organization addresses the psychosocial effects of homophobia, sexism and identity-based violence experienced by women, LGBTQ communities, and other marginalized groups in Nigeria.
Why Their Work Matters: In Nigeria, same-sex relationships are illegal by law, at the national and state levels. These laws hinder health and social service provision to persons who do not conform to heterosexual norms, depriving them of the opportunity to flourish in society. WHER enables the inclusion of LBQ women towards a Nigerian society free from all forms of discrimination and violence against women.
- Human Rights, Health, Education, and Livelihoods
WHER has recruited and trained peer counselors from 5 geopolitical zones in Nigeria to provide first aid counseling and psychosocial support to their LBQ peers.
The violations faced by LBQ women in Nigeria are not adequately documented. To combat this, WHER documents cases through their own research and informal studies.
- 80+ Nigerian lesbian and bisexual women received online support and education services. WHER provides a virtual and physical safe space for LBQ to meet, learn, network, share experiences and support one another.
- WHER is reshaping Nigeria’s legal landscape as it relates to LGBTQI people. As a feminist organization, WHER infuses gender education and feminist consciousness-raising into inclusive, collaborative and participatory projects, and work in solidarity with other women organizations to advocate against gender inequality in Nigeria.
Akudo Oguaghamba is a feminist, activist and human rights defender, with a passion and commitment to the advancement of social justice including sexual and reproductive rights and gender equality. She is keen on innovative sustainable ways for women’s economic empowerment and development and to drive gender equality.
Prior to her role as WHER’s Executive Director, she served as the Co-Chair (Female) of PAN-AFRICAN ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) from 2013 to 2018. She currently serves on the Board of All-Out (All Out is a global movement fighting for a world where NO ONE has to sacrifice their family, freedom, safety, or dignity because of who they are or whom they love).
Akudo obtained a certificate in Gender and Development and a Master’s Degree in Project Management.