Center for Advancement of Development Rights

Center for Advancement of Development Rights


CEADER provides women’s human rights and reproductive health education and employment skills to poor and disenfranchised women and teenage girls in Nigeria, and advocates for programs and policies that reduce women’s financial, physical, and political marginalization.

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Partner Focus Areas

Economic self-reliance
Participation in leadership and politics
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
Rights of women in marginalized communities

Partnership Highlights

Partner since 2014
Gender sensitization and leadership for teens
Family law reform research and advocacy
Women's political participation and peacebuilding
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My greatest achievement is making women, especially the women I worked with in rural areas, look at themselves as human beings. They begin to question their situations and the position or status given to them by patriarchy, finding answers they’re at first not comfortable with, and then joining their voices with other women and making change possible.

,Former Executive Director, BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights


Founded in 2006, the Center for Advancement of Development Rights (CEADER) is a women’s human rights organization that builds the capacity of women and girls to improve their economic, social, and political status in Nigeria. The Lagos-based organization has played a pioneering role in bringing reproductive and other rights education to poor and disenfranchised communities, and empowering women to be proactive in taking decisions that protect them against abusive situations when their safety or health is at risk, or their rights are violated. CEADER helps women by teaching them marketable skills, and provides women and girls with leadership experience. Participants in its training programs include sex workers, teenage girls, women from low-income communities, and activists and practitioners from women’s organizations.

Since CEADER joined the WLP partnership in 2014, it has been able to use WLP’s network and curricula to extend its leadership, political participation, and human rights training to new regions in Nigeria. CEADER works primarily in English.

CEADER Family Law Reform Case Study Workshop
Joy Ngwakwe, Executive Director of CEADER, speaks during a research review meeting on family law reform.

Recent Accomplishments

  • In 2016 and 2017, CEADER organized leadership sensitization programs for nearly 100 teenage students in girls’ secondary schools in the residential estate FESTAC Town, in Lagos.  
  • CEADER Participated in successful campaign activities against a Lagos state law banning street trade. Lagos-based NGOs fought the ban because of its disproportionate impact on the poor, and particularly on poor women who have almost no alternatives for earning an income. 
  • CEADER’s empowerment and employment skills-building program for sex workers and young women at risk of entering sex work has reduced their exposure to HIV infection. In addition, CEADER focuses on preparing teenage girls with job skills so they do not need to resort to sex work, giving them a safer way out of poverty.
  • In 2017, CEADER hosted a WLP National Training of Trainers Institute in Abuja in central Nigeria for the first time. Participants included Muslim women leaders and women’s rights organization leaders from the central and northern parts of the country, which disproportionately have been affected by conflict and humanitarian crises. Participation of women in leadership and decision-making roles is comparatively low in northern and rural regions of Nigeria, making this training especially important for creating linkages among women working to bridge the gender gap.
CEADER Skills Building Photo
A young woman entrepreneur tracks her business progress after attending CEADER's leadership and job skills training.

Organizational Programs and Activities

Leadership and Community Development

  • CEADER conducts workshops across Nigeria, in urban settings and in villages, to provide women with skills and confidence to take on leadership roles in their communities. CEADER integrates WLP’s leadership, political participation, and human rights curricula and teaching methodology into its programming. CEADER has collaborated with several organizations within and outside Nigeria who share CEADER’s commitment to women’s advancement and community development.

Women's Rights and Advocacy

  • CEADER advocates for women’s rights to be integrated into government and international agency projects in local communities. CEADER supports women and girls whose human rights have been denied, through local campaigns and capacity-building training.
Workshop Nigeria 2018 GBV
WLP’s partner in Nigeria, CEADER, hosts a workshop on Strengthening Women's Human Rights Knowledge to Challenge Violence Against Women in March 2018.

The Right to Health

  • CEADER organizes activities to sensitize women in local communities on their right to health and access to health facilities. CEADER works with relevant stakeholders to highlight women’s health challenges in local communities. CEADER monitors compliance with local laws and international agreements relating to the provision of healthcare to women and girls.
  • CEADER conducts training for teenage girls from villages and communities with limited access to information, to raise their awareness about local cultural practices that conflict with human rights, such as female genital mutilation, child marriage, and male child preference. CEADER’s trainings cover human rights norms, and in particular the sexual and reproductive rights of teenage girls and women. CEADER encourages village counselors to convey messages denouncing these practices in their education activities in the community.
  • CEADER promotes good health practices and HIV/AIDS prevention tactics in slum communities in Lagos. Its trainers provide important information on general healthcare, and specifically on prevention as well as management of HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. CEADER’s training incorporates an HIV/AIDS de-stigmatization session to combat discriminatory practices against people living with HIV/AIDS. Trainees include sex workers and female small business entrepreneurs from the Ijora Badia slum, who in turn conduct their own workshops in the community.
Women Leaders Gathered in Nigeria
Emerging leaders pose for a photo at CEADER's National Training of Trainers workshop on Women's Leadership and Political Participation Workshop in Nigeria.

Women's Economic Empowerment

  • CEADER organizes skills-building activities for poor women and teenage girls to empower them to become economically independent. CEADER helps women resist remaining in violent relationships by equipping them with marketable skills with which to support themselves outside such relationships. 
  • CEADER provides education and training for sex workers to give them an alternative source of income.

About Nigeria 

In our constitution it says that men and women are equal before the law: There shall be no discrimination of women on the basis of sex. But there is discrimination against women. The recent constitution denied us the right to convey citizenship to our foreign husbands, but foreign wives receive automatic citizenship. What a contradiction.

,Former Executive Director, BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights

  • Population: 225 million
  • Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with over 250 ethnic groups and 500 indigenous languages spoken.
  • Economy: Ranked 25th in the world
  • Nigeria is heavily dependent on oil revenues which have been largely disrupted by Covid-19 and oil price shocks. This has resulted in slowing growth, high inflation, increasing unemployment, and political instability.
  • Government: Federal Presidential Republic
  • Legal system: Mixed system of English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law
  • Religions: Muslim 53.5%, Roman Catholic 10.6%, other Christian 35.3%, other 0.6% 
  • Seats held by women in national parliament: 4%
  • Labor force: 44.2% female
  • Female literacy: 52.7%
  • Maternal mortality rate: 917 deaths per 100,000 live births
  • Citizenship: At least one parent must be a citizen of Nigeria
Nigeria economic empowerment program
Young women gain leadership and handicraft skills in an economic empowerment workshop held by CEADER in Lagos.
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