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Keep up with what is happening in Nigeria, throughout the region and around the world affecting the status of women’s rights, the empowerment of girls and progression of gender equality.

Women groups lament low representation as Resident Electoral Commissioners

Publisher: Guardian Published on: 21/04/2017
Photo of Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode.

Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode. Image: The Guardian

A Coalition of women groups, representing different platforms and organisations across the country, have expressed displeasure over the low representation of women among the 27 nominees as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs). They called on President Muhammadu Buhari to critically look into the issue for a more gender responsive governance.

A statement signed by the Executive Director, Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode on behalf of other women groups, said, “The list of nominees was sent to the Senate for screening and subsequent confirmation”, and added that they, “urge the President to ensure that subsequent nominations and appointments in all facets of governance and the economy in Nigeria abide by the principles of gender balance, fairness and justice for women, youths and persons living with disabilities.”

Read more at Guardian

Nigeria’s gender equality bill not against men, Senator says

Publisher: Premium Times Published on: 18/04/2017
Photo of the Nigerian Senate

Nigerian Senate

A senator, Binta Garba (APC – Adamawa North) has appealed to men in the country not to see the Gender Equality Bill before the Senate as an affront to them, saying that, “a woman must be given an equal opportunity to serve her motherland in every standard she would found herself be it in her work place, in her chosen career or whatever”.

The bill, sponsored by Biodun Olujinmi (PDP-Ekiti South), scaled second reading in September 2016 after some modifications. “After the second reading, now the bill is being passed for public hearing and once it’s done, then the committee has to work on it to bring it back for the third reading,” Garba said, adding, “we need to do a lot of lobbying within ourselves, our colleagues- the male counterparts – all sectors that obviously would be interested in seeing that this bill is being passed.’’

Read more at Premium Times

Sanusi warns northern leaders against ‘gender bias’ in education

Publisher: Daily post Published on: 18/04/2017

Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has called on Northern leaders to promote girl-child education in the region. Sanusi spoke during the inauguration of Aminu Dabo College of Health Sciences laboratory complex in Kano on Monday, urging the leaders to give priority to female education as they did with their male counterparts.

“We appeal to everybody, especially well-meaning individuals irrespective of party differences, to provide the environment to aid girl-child education,” he said. The monarch also admonished the people of Kano to support each other and work as a team for the overall development of the state.

Read more at Daily post

Penalize FRSC commander for gender abuse, group tasks FG

Publisher: Punch Published on: 13/04/2017
Photo of a female official being punished for allegedly breaching dress code.

Another female official being punished for allegedly breaching dress code. Image: Punch

A non-governmental organisation, FAME Foundation has called on the Federal  Government to sanction the Rivers State Federal Road Safety Corps commander, Ayodele Kumapayi, for gender harassment and abuse of office. The NGO flayed Kumapayi for allegedly cutting the hair of his junior female officers, noting that he went too far in the exercise of his power.

In a statement, the group said, “Mr.  Kumapayi must be penalised for abusing his office and also for harassing women officers right in public, this is not allowed. He went too far by cutting off the hairdo of the junior female officers. The government must investigate this matter as quickly as possible and bring him to justice; he must be penalised within the rule of law because if he was spared, other men like him who have no respect for women may also harass women officers who are diligently serving the nation.”

Read more at Punch

Group Advocates for Gender Equality

Publisher: This Day Published on: 11/04/2017
Photo of Nneka Chris-Asoluka

Nneka Chris-Asoluka

Speaking at the Installation/Change of Insignia of the 21st National President of SINA, the newly elected National President of the Soroptimist International of Nigeria (SINA), Mrs. Nneka Chris-Aseloka, restated the commitment of her association to address the issue of gender equality, adding that there was need for women to achieve their full potential and take full control of their lives.

Chris-Aseloka added, “enabling women to achieve their full potential and thus empowering them to control their lives and know their rights. We strive to make immense contribution by reducing women poverty by providing access to education, adult education centre for women who were not opportune to be educated in their earlier age.”

Read more at This Day

Benue Women Demand More Appointments, Elective Positions

Publisher: Leadership Published on: 03/04/2017

Benue Women have staged a peaceful protest at the Government House, Makurdi, to demand for more political appointments and elective positions in the state. Some of the inscriptions on the placards that were carried, included “Give more women political appointments’’, “Women are tested and proven’’, “Gender justice or no votes’’ and “Women are critical stakeholders too’’.

Top female government functionaries, including the Member representing Buruku at the State House of Assembly, Mrs Ngunan Addingi and Mrs Keziah Agundu, a member of the State Civil Service Commission were among the protesters. The governor`s wife, Mrs Eunice Ortom, called on stakeholders to assist the governor in putting smiles on the faces of the women, by including more of them in their agenda.



Read more at Leadership

Women for Women helps rebuild lives in war-torn communities

Publisher: Humanosphere Published on: 31/03/2017
Photo of Women for Women International's President Laurie Adams, with a group of African women

Women for Women International’s President Laurie Adams, center, visits the Rwanda program earlier this month. (Harriet Tolputt/WFWI)

In war-torn countries across Africa and the Middle East, it is more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier. International organization Women for Women International are currently working to empower these women in an effort to rebuild their lives, families and communities, including in Nigeria.

Women for Women International President Laurie Adams said one of the most pressing problems facing the women she works with is the extraordinarily high risk of sexual assault. “Rape and the degradation of women is a weapon of war,” Adams said in an interview with Humanosphere, “and rape comes with so much stigma that when a woman is raped, not only does it severely damage her, but it often pulls apart the fabric of her family and the community.”

Read more at Humanosphere

Women with disabilities urge Nigerian govt to pass Disability Right Bill

Publisher: Premium Times Published on: 27/03/2017
Women advocating for the Disability Rights Bill in Nigeria

Women with disabilities in its press conference

Women with disabilities, under the aegis of Cedar Seeds Foundation, have asked the Nigerian government to support the empowerment of women, especially those with disabilities, by passing and assenting to the Nigeria Disability Right Bill which is currently at the Senate. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Lois Aula, the Executive Director of the organisation, called on the Senate to pass the proposed law which has scaled through second reading, to protect the rights of disabled people, especially women in the country.

“People with disabilities are usually discriminated against within the society and women are mostly at the receiving end. It is usually double discrimination for women with disabilities because we have to face discrimination in the society as a woman and as a disabled person,” Aula said, adding that, “women with disabilities have equal rights like any other human being.”

Read more at Premium Times

Women must be agents of reconciliation, says Osinbajo

Publisher: The Guardian Published on: 26/03/2017
Photo of Dolapo Osinbajo speaking

Dolapo Osinbajo. Source: The Guardian

Speaking in Lagos at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Sisters’ conference organised by The Redeemed Christian Church of God, wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, counseled women to be agents of reconciliation by empowering themselves with skills that will boost economic activities.

Osinbajo said it is important for women to be ministers of reconciliation and speak up for the needy. Additionally, Acting Head of Service, Lagos State Government, Mrs Folasade Adesoye, noted that the development of women is a prerequisite for the development of a nation.

Read more at The Guardian

Women’s revolt transformed Nigeria, says historian

Publisher: The Cornell University Chronicle Published on: 23/03/2017
Photo of Professor Judith Byfield

Professor Judith Byfield. Source: Cornell News

New research by Judith Byfield, associate professor of history at Cornell University, offers a different lens through which to understand women’s political history in post-World War II Nigeria. She discussed her findings at a crowded talk hosted by the Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program in Rockefeller Hall on March 21st.

Byfield’s talk, “Gender, Spectacle and Nation-making in Post-World War II Nigeria,” focused on the famous Abeokuta women’s tax revolt in 1947. The revolt was a response to a tax increase imposed by the British government after World War II. According to Byfield, their revolt was ultimately so successful it toppled the king of Abeokuta and changed British policy, triggering a “radical transformation of the political structure in Abeokuta” and women’s politics more broadly.”

Read more at The Cornell University Chronicle