Omowumi (Wumi) Asubiaro Dada at UN's 68th Commission on the Status of Women

March 21, 2024 by Patricia Doherty

Omowumi (Wumi) Asubiaro Dada, a CrimSL PhD candidate supervised by Professor Kamari Maxine Clarke, participated in the UN 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held March 11 to 22, 2024 in New York City.

She was the featured speaker at a side event session entitled "Praxis Meets Theory: Exploring the Changing Gender Dynamics in Conflict Situations" held on March 12, 2024, which she organized in collaboration with Nigerian organisation Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC).

The event was an activity Wumi had planned and was funded as part of her Connaught PhDs for Public Impact fellowship project, "Amplifying Gendered Conflict Prevention Practices in the Global South." 

Wumi Asubiaro Dada presents at UN CSW 2024
Wumi Asubiaro Dada presents at UN CSW 2024 (Photo: Daniella Dada)

Wumi presented some of the findings from her doctoral research—specifically, she examined the dynamic role of women in preventing conflict in Kaduna State, Nigeria, and how their involvement contributes to redefining gender identities and the notion of protectors. She explained how conflict prevention practices theoretically contribute to the construction or reconfiguration of gender distinctions/categories in Kaduna. She expounded on African feminist and gender theories, as well as feminist legal theories.

She also discussed findings from her own interviews, which had been funded by the CrimSL Research Cluster for the Study of Racism and Inequality.

Wumi’s research challenges paternalistic views that relegate women to roles needing protection, and instead highlights the current and historical contributions of women as protectors, from spiritual roles in pre-Jihad times to contemporary vigilante and early warning response actors. Despite systemic and cultural barriers, evidence shows that women in Kaduna have evolved from perceived victimhood to active agents of vigilance, prevention, and empowerment.

The event was organized at the Nigeria House in New York to enable participation and attract a Nigerian audience. Initially, about 40 representatives of the Nigerian government, civil society organizations, experts, and activists were expected, but the turnout was about 60, comprising five State Commissioners for Women’s Affairs, the Wife of the Governor of Lagos State (the most populated state in Nigeria), the Director General of the Benue State Peace Commission, and the Wife of the former Governor of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who chaired the session.

Wumi Asubiaro Dada presents at UN CSW 2024
Capacity crowd at Wumi's session, UN CSW 2024 (Photo: Professor Yemisi Ashimolowo)

About the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

The UN CSW sessions are held annually in March at the United Nations headquarters in New York as a space for government institutions and NGOs from all around the world to come together to share projects and progress on women's rights and empowerment. They are one of the world's biggest convenings on women’s rights, with over 8,000 delegates registered to attend hundreds of meetings and panel sessions held in the UN building and other buildings around New York City.