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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 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

Gender economic equality will take 170 years – UN deputy scribe

Publisher: Today Published on: 13/03/2017
Photo of United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Mrs. Amina Mohammed

United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Mrs. Amina Mohammed. Source: Today

In her message to the Youth Forum of the Commission on the Status of Women, ahead of the International Commission on the Status of Women, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, said it will take 170 years to achieve economic equality between women and men, adding that women and girls were being forced to confront higher obstacles to opportunity than men and boys.

“Gender-based discrimination, marginalization, violence and other human rights abuses; unequal access to education, to health care; these are basic rights and also to opportunities for leadership and participation. This list goes on and on. The barriers are so high that it would take 170 years to achieve economic equality between women and men; 170 years! I’m sorry, but I do not accept a world that says – equality is not good enough for you or me or our daughters,” she said.

Read more at Today

Nigerian leaders call for gender equality on International Women’s Day

Publisher: Premium Times Published on: 09/03/2017
Two women

FILE PHOTO: Women Source: premium times

In a statement released to celebrate the International Women’s Day. Aisha Buhari appealed to all stakeholders to work towards ensuring the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. This, she said, will aid the objective of sustainable development goals, adding that “It is imperative to appeal to all stakeholders, governments at all levels to rise to the global challenge of ensuring the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in line with the objective of sustainable development goals.”

The Acting President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, in a statement said the Buhari administration remains committed to ensuring the protection of all women from all forms of gender-based violence in the country, while Senate President Bukola Saraki said that “the day presented an opportunity for every Nigerian to recognise and celebrate the talent and achievement of women and girls”. Also, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Sani Aliyu, called for gender equality as the world marks the International Women Day.

Read more at Premium Times

British Council Seeks End to Gender Discrimination in Nigeria

Publisher: Punch Published on: 08/03/2017

The British Council says it has embarked on global Sustainable and Development Goals to bring about gender equality in Nigeria and other developing countries. It stated that the SDGs looked into how the gender discrimination could be addressed by empowering women through education, sports, arts and justice. The Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission, Joe Abuku, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday to commemorate the International Women’s Day. Abuku said a report titled, ‘Women and Girls – making a lasting difference’, detailed the council’s empowerment of women between 2010 and 2015, adding that there were renewed efforts to sustain the programme.

“The British Council works through sport as a way of reaching and engaging young people, and uses it as an entry point and engagement tool to also address issues such as child protection, boys’ and girls’ rights, violence against women and promoting changes in gender norms by linking sports to education. So far in Nigeria, 300 female students between the ages of 12 and 16 years have participated in two football coaching sessions and one classroom-based session (on rights) per week over a nine-week period,” the statement said.

Read more at Punch

ICCN, NNEW seek gender equality, empowerment for women

Publisher: Guardian Published on: 07/03/2017
Graphic depicting a logo for gender equality.

Gender equality

The International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) and NECA’S Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) have called for more involvement of women in all strata of the nation’s economy as well as within the decision-making bodies of government at various levels. Speaking in Lagos, NNEW President, Oyekunle Modupe, said the  theme for International Women’s Day 2017, “Be bold for change”, is intended to make us consider how to accelerate the 2030 agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new sustainable development goals, especially to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

She added: “It will also ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning and on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities”.


Read more at Guardian

First Lady calls for empowerment of women, youths

Publisher: Pulse Published on: 01/03/2017
Photo of Aisha Buhari

Mrs Toyin Saraki welcomes First Lady, Aisha Buhari at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on February 11, 2017. (Banks Omishore)

During a visit by governors’ wives to the State House in Abuja to brief on the progress made in efforts to tackle drug addiction in Northern Nigeria, the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, urged Northern State Governors’ Wives to consider the empowerment of women and youths, stressing that this is the best way to eradicate the increasing rate of drug addiction in the north.

Buhari said she intended to use her pet project, `Future Assured’’, to rehabilitate and empower  victims of drug abuse by using some existing structures as rehabilitation centres. Buhari told the governors wives that “I think in your next agenda you should consider training as your priority; it is not easy to deal with drug abuse but we need to empower the parents. By doing so, I think it will reduce the chances of having so many drug addict children because the parents will be financially independent to take care of the children.”

Read more at Pulse

‘A lot of women do not know their rights’

Publisher: Guardian Published on: 28/02/2017
Photo of Prof. Epiphany Azinge

Prof. Epiphany Azinge

Dr. Valeri-Janette Azinge, recently conferred with the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has decried the growing fear of violence women face in Nigeria,  and has tasked the government to commit to a human rights awareness campaign on the subject. According to her, Nigeria has lots of laws even though there are some lacuna here and there, to fight violence against women. She noted however that there is lack of information in the public domain for women to utilize.

Azinge said: “I subscribe to the fact that civil society organisations should wake up more on their advocacy on the rights of the women and children, and there should also be centres where they can easily run to for succour. I do not think that what the social welfare is doing is enough. We need more centres in every locality so that more cases can easily be reported for prosecution or assistance as the case may be.

Read more at Guardian