Over 150 Nigerian women ended their peaceful protest against Chevron in Escravos today. Fifteen women were arrested.
The women had occupied Chevron’s main oil export facility for ten days, halting the movement of oil and trapping hundreds of U.S., British, Canadian and Nigerian workers inside.
The women maintained control of the terminal by threatening to remove their clothes, a powerful traditional shaming method which would have humiliated Chevron in the eyes of the community.
The Niger Delta is one of the poorest places in Nigeria despite its oil wealth. Nigeria is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of oil and the fifth-largest supplier to the United States.
After days of negotiations, company executives agreed to build schools, clinics, town halls, electricity and water systems in villages of rusty tin shacks. The company also agreed to give jobs to at least 25 residents and help build fish and chicken farms.
The protest inspired other women to seize four other oil facilities in the region.
Anyakwee Nsirimovu is executive director of Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He talked about who these women are and why they were protesting.
- Anyakwee Nsirimovu, executive director of Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Nigeria.