In efforts to sustain its police reform movement, Nigeria’s feminist coalition has chosen to only accept donations in Bitcoin. It is using a censorship-resistant platform to protect its right to freedom of expression after access to its bank account was restricted this month, following its involvement in the End SARS protests.
The coalition was unable to use its bank account or use other alternative payment gateways that would enable it to fund the movement for police reforms in Nigeria. It had to take drastic measures, opening a Bitcoin account and making it available on a censorship-resistant website.
So far, Nigeria’s Feminist Coalition has been able to raise ₦ 73,241,384.11 and has disbursed ₦ 20,188,280 to support 154 protests across the nation. Bitcoin has served Nigerians in the past in protecting their rights to their property from SARS officers who tried to extort money from them. The cryptocurrency uses cryptography and complex computations to ensure security of account holders. Additionally, it is significantly more difficult to track down and close cryptocurrency accounts than it is to track down and close bank accounts.
End SARS started off as a movement to abolish the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a division of the police force which has been accused by protestors of abusing their power. Protestors have complained bitterly of different forms of abuse committed by bad eggs in the force.
The feminist coalition was formed in July 2020. It has worked towards ensuring that equality for women is achieved in Nigeria. It is focused on equality for women through education, finance, and representation in public office. The coalition’s vision is for a Nigeria where equality for all people is a reality in law and in everyday lives.