Violence Against Women, Children Denies Basic Rights, Freedom In Northeast
The Executive Director, Women Advocates Research & Documentation Cenre (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi has said that violence against women and children has denied them their basic rights and freedom.
According to her, women and children continue to lose their freedom of opinion, gender equality and justice before the law.
Akiyode-Afolabi raised the alarm Thursday at a two-day training for women’s right groups and civil society organisation (CSO) at Barwee Luxury Suit, Maiduguri.
She said that the WARDC project is to promote and protect women’s human rights and the rule of law in the country.
“We’re using the United Nations human rights’ mechanism and effective stakeholder engagements to achieve basic rights and freedom of our women and children,” she said.
She noted that the centre uses the law to advance women’s rights as a human right issue.
Continuing, she said: “One of the goals of this project is to contribute to change of laws and policies that can further support post conflict reintegration and protection of women and girls from gender based violence.
“The affected women and girls are particularly drawn from the insurgency affected Northeast region,” noting that they constitute a large majority of the poor, widow, marginalized and vulnerable.
She therefore called on the Federal and State Governments to address and act to end all forms of violence against women and children.
She said that the project is being implemented in Borno and Yobe states with women groups to “strengthen women’s access to justice.
“This will ensure rights of women and girls a reality in the insurgency affected states,” she said.
While lamenting abuse of women’s rights, she said: “Women are more often victims of abuse because they are still regarded as inferior in many African cultures.
“Despite enshrining gender equality in Nigeria’s constitution, women and girls are more vulnerable to discrimination by violating their right.
“One thing is certain that there is violence against women and children everywhere in the society,” warning that it affects all of us.
According to her, women, CSOs, IDPs and marginalized groups are working together to end this act by strengthening the rule of law and institutions.
She said that this is the only way women can access their right through fair, efficient, through fair, efficient, independent and accountable institutions.
On challenges of the action plans, Prof. Patricia Donli of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) identified lack of political will and coordination, inadequate funding, political instability, including insurgency that sustain abuse of women and girls’ rights and freedom.