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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.

UNICEF calls for action on Female Genital Mutilation

Publisher: Nigeria Today Published on: 04/02/2017

Speaking to mark the fourth coming world International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, the Head of UNICEF Enugu Field Office Charles Nzuki said FGM has serious negative consequences and impart of the girls, and called on governments, civil society organisations traditional and religious leaders to join hands to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) and cutting of Nigerias.

He said that UNICEF is supporting governments both at the federal, state level and also working with civil society organisation to mobilize stake holders to end female genital mutilation and cutting in Nigeria. “Basically on a local data in Nigeria we have very high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in a number of states, the highest is in Osun, which has 77 percent, followed by Ebonyi state with 74 percent according to the Nigerian Demographic health survey, other states with very high rate including Ekiti, Imo in south east of Nigeria and Oyo”, he said.

Read more at Nigeria Today

World Hijab Day: Group decries discrimination against Muslim women

Publisher: Premium Times Published on: 01/02/2017

The Coalition of Nigerian Muslim Women have recently decried alleged discrimination against Muslim women at their work place. The group, led by the Hijab Right Advocacy Initiative, spoke at a press conference in Lagos marking World Hijab Day, an annual event founded by Nazma Khan in 2013. This event takes place on February 1 each year in about 100 countries, and was borne out of the need to identify with Muslim women who face discrimination everyday due to the observance of their faith, the group said.

According to Mutiat Orolu, the leader of the group and convener of the conference, wearing of Hijab is not the culture of Arabs as erroneously held by some people or a fashion accessory that the Muslim woman may discard at will. “It is a religious duty and an obligation on every Muslim woman in the observance of her faith. And this right to believe in and practice one‘s chosen faith is an inalienable right of every human being, as entrenched in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended),” she said.

Read more at Premium Times

Female Edo street sweepers opt for mechanic apprenticeship

Publisher: The Nation Published on: 31/01/2017

Governor Godwin Obaseki recently engaged female mechanics under the leadership of Sandra Aguebor of the Lady Mechanic Initiative to take over repair and maintenance of government vehicles. The engagement of female mechanics was part Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, initiative to empower women in the state.

Mrs. Aguebor said she was shocked when she saw the women at the workshop and demanded to be registered as an apprentice. According to her, “We were here doing our work when we saw a lot of women trooping in and to my greatest surprised some were carrying children. They said they were here looking for lady mechanic. They said they want to be part of what we are doing.

Read more at The Nation

Nigeria ranks low, S/Africa, Malawi highest, among African countries committed to ending hunger

Publisher: The Vanguard Published on: 26/02/2017

Nigeria ranks 37th in its commitment to ending hunger and malnutrition among its people, the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index of Africa (HANCI-Africa) has indicated. The rankings, produced by the Institute of Development Studies (UK) with the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), was released on Thursday. South Africa ranks highest, Malawi follows closely in second place while Sudan, Guinea-Bissau and Comoros are at the bottom of the HANCI-Africa rankings.

The report shows that the National Nutrition Policy, which identifies time-bound nutrition targets and multi-sector policies, is a strong indicator of Nigeria’s commitment to ending the menace. However, the report called for improved spending in the agriculture and health sectors, saying that, “spending on agriculture does not meet government commitments set out in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration, which should be 10 per cent of public spending.”


Read more at The Vanguard

Wikipedia to create awareness of mental illness in Nigerian women

Publisher: The Eagle Online Published on: 24/01/2017
Picture of the Wikipedia logo

Wikipedia logo

Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, says it wants to help create more awareness on mental illness in Nigerian women and women generally through its “Wiki Loves Women” project. The organisation said that creating awareness would help to reduce the prevalence of stigma associated with mental illness, especially in Nigerian women. Olushola Olaniyan, the Project Lead of Wiki Loves Women, said this on Monday in Lagos during a programme tagged: “Mental Illness in Nigeria: Taking Back the Narrative” at an event organised by Wiki Loves Women, in collaboration with She Writes Woman, a Non-Governmental Organisation.

Olaniyan said: “We are running Wiki Loves Women project and adding quality information about women in Nigeria on Wikipedia; it is a way of reducing systematic bias and gender inequality. We are working to provide reliable and quality contents that can be added to the Wikipedia as a way of protecting women with mental illness. There are certain peculiarities of mental illness to Nigerian women and we think that some of the information are not available on Wikipedia”.


Read more at The Eagle Online

SAN advocates laws for protection of women

Publisher: The Nation Published on: 17/01/2017
Picture of Okafor with Acting Chairman, Nigeria Law Reform Commission, Mr Kefas Mogaji

Okafor (pictured left) with Acting Chairman, Nigeria Law Reform Commission, Mr Kefas Mogaji, at the event

Delivering an address at the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria Week/Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Arthur Obi Okafor, called for laws to curb gender violence. Okafor said though violence against women is a global problem, some advanced countries have reduced it through laws and well intentioned policies.

He said: “The news media, both online and offline, were awash with the story of a man, Mr. Lekan Shonde, who reportedly beat his wife, Ronke, to death in Lagos on the suspicion of infidelity”. Okafor also said that although violence against women is a global problem, some advanced countries have reduced it through laws and well intentioned policies. He said: “The news media, both online and offline, were awash with the story of a man, Mr. Lekan Shonde, who reportedly beat his wife, Ronke, to death in Lagos on the suspicion of infidelity”.

Read more at The Nation

Contraceptive use among Nigerian women on increase

Publisher: Premium Times Published on: 15/01/2017
Photo of Nigerian women and children

Nigerian women and children

The Federal Government’s advocacy on the use of contraceptive among sexually active women in Nigeria for the prevention of unwanted pregnancy and abortion is beginning to yield positive results as more women are recorded to be embracing the method. Compiled data from the 2015 report of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, on health shows that contraceptive use among sexually active women of child bearing age increased by seven per cent compared to 2014.

Anu Rotimi, the Programme Coordinator of Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, told the media that increased access to family planning can prevent about 1.6 million unintended pregnancies yearly in the country. “Evidence has shown that the high death rate is mostly due to high unintended pregnancies and low use of family planning services. Increase uptake of family planning can avert up to 33 per cent of maternal deaths and 23 per cent of child deaths”, she said.

Read more at Premium Times

Buhari releases $55.5million to states for women’s healthcare

Publisher: EcoFin Agency Published on: 11/01/2017

The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari (photo), recently announced the release of $55.5 million to all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for women’s healthcare project. Buhari, who declared this during the inauguration of the Primary Health Care Centre for Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria at Kuchigoro, in Abuja, said that each of the 36 states and FCT would get $1.5 million. According to him, the provision of quality health care service would change the poor health indices in the country and his administration would fulfill those promises made to the people.

“I am hopeful that our women will no more be dying needlessly during childbirth; our children will no more be dying needlessly as a result of vaccine preventable diseases or common ailment; access to health care will not be limited because of lack of money to pay. I want to assure Nigerians that Government will continue to ensure that great numbers of Nigerians have access to quality basic health care services,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria.

Read more at EcoFin Agency

INFERTILITY: Lamentation of stigmatisation against African women.

Publisher: Vanguard Published on: 10/01/2017

Recent statistics by the World Health Organisation have showed that more than 180 million couples (1 in every 4) in developing countries suffer from primary or secondary infertility. Today, there are millions of Nigerian women suffering these forms of dehumanisation due to their inability to conceive, and in most cases, the fault is usually laid on their doorsteps, without the slightest knowledge that the men could be the cause of the problems.

It’s against this backdrop that world’s foremost pharmaceutical and chemical company, Merck, recently launched in Nigeria its “Merck More than a Mother” initiative, aimed at combating infertility and the stigmatization associated with it in Nigeria. The launch, which took place first in Lagos and then in Abuja, brought together women leaders, policy makers, parliamentarians, academics, fertility experts among others to chart the way forward towards combating, identifying and implementing strategies to improve access to effective, safe and regulated fertility care in Nigeria and to define interventions to decrease social suffering arising from infertility and childlessness.




Read more at Vanguard

Seven Nigerian States Move To Save 1.59 Million Children, Mothers From Malnutrition

Publisher: Sahara Reporters Published on: 08/01/2017

States in North-Western Nigeria are fighting to stem the scourge of malnutrition which has affected more than 1,594,462 children in the region. The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has recently estimated that every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-fives and 145 women of child-bearing age, making Nigeria the second largest contributor to the under-five deaths and maternal mortality rate in the world.

Jane Gwani, the Nutrition Officer in the state Ministry of Health and Human Resources, said that strategies adopted so far were helping to reverse the situation, adding that the state had collaborated with other relevant stakeholders across communities, public and private sector, civil society, government ministries, department and agencies to effectively contain the situation. The situation remains stark however, as UNICEF estimate the total number of malnourished children at 2,539,704.

Read more at Sahara Reporters