Eleanor joined SDDirect in 2012 as a Gender Advisor in the SDDirect team that is supporting delivery of the DFID Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP). This is a peace building programme on which SDDirect is one of the core implementing partners. Eleanor’s current role is Output Lead on Women and Girls for NSRP.
She is a medical doctor and holder of a Masters in human rights and democratisation from Venice, Italy. Her career has spanned working as an anaesthetist with South East Kent health Authority, UK, and running a private medical practice in Nigeria. She left clinical practice to work in the development field as a health, gender and human rights consultant for agencies including CIDA, UN, DFID.
Eleanor is passionate about issues of women’s and girls’ rights. In her role as Manager for Women and Girls on NSRP she supervises the aspect of work that reflects the spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). She is also a strong advocate for the prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG) and works with NSRP partners to provide safe spaces such as peace clubs for learning life skills and “observatory” which tracks incidents of VAWG.
Outside her work with SDDirect, she is actively engaged in the women’s movement and is the Founding President of the Widows Development Organisation (WiDO), immediate past Finance Chair of Medical Women's International Association and immediate past Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Chair of the United Nations NGO/DPI Executive Committee. Apart from numerous Conference and workshop presentations she has authored several publications and received numerous awards. A most recent is a contribution to a book titled “Moving toward a just peace: the mediation continuum", publisher Springer, 2014.
In her current work, Eleanor oversees Women, Peace and Security (WPS) networks that are conducting advocacy and awareness-raising on the Nigerian National Action plan (NAP), including special initiatives around widows and persons with disabilities in conflict-prone environments. For example, the Borno WPS network was actively engaged in advocating for the release of abducted girls, including over 200 Chibok girls abducted by JAS insurgents. More recently, as part of efforts towards the implementation of the NAP, she facilitated the support by NSRP towards to passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) act in Nigeria.