Press Release for IWD 202L
As the world marks the International Women’s Day with the theme; “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”,Legal Defence and Assistance Project, urges the Nigerian Government to accelerate efforts to bridge the widening gap of gender disparity in Nigeria.
The year 2020 is a pivotal year for advancing gender equality worldwide as the global community takes stock of progress made for women’s rights since the adoption of the Beijing Platform 25 years ago, the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; and the 10thanniversary of the UN Women’s establishment. As the world embarks on this multigenerational movement for the advancement of women’s rights with the hashtag #EachforEqual, LEDAP is particularly worried about the slow progress made in closing the gender gap in Nigeria.
LEDAP observes that genuine efforts made at promoting the rights of women and girls have been stifled by the threatening push-backs arising from the predominant patriarchic socio-cultural norms; one of such examples is the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GOE) Bill that has continued to face dire opposition at the National Assembly. Culture, religion and other factors have continued to threaten and suppress the rights of women and girls in Nigeria, in most cases these have been the benchmark for the perpetration of heinous violence against women such as rape and domestic violence. The lack of political and economic opportunities for women in Nigeria also make the realization of gender equality a mirage as women are under-represented at the National and State Assemblies leaving them out of the key decision-making positions; they are also faced with similar form of violence and inequality at the workplace. We remind the Nigerian government of its duty to promote gender equality and ensure that gender is mainstreamed in every one of its policies and actions; one of which would be the passage of the GOE bill into Law.
Today, we encourage Nigerians; human rights defenders and human rights advocates to reflect on the multigenerational factors that have continued to undermine gender equality and collectively work towards assisting public institutions to ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed in every policy action in Nigeria.
LEDAP continues to reaffirm its commitment towards the promotion and protection of the rights of women and girls in Nigeria. To mark this year’s event, LEDAP will engage women and girls in rural communities in Yola, Adamawa State to educate and raise awareness on their sexual and reproductive rights, so that the girls and women will be able to defend and assert their rights.
Finally, LEDAP urges the Nigerian Government at Federal and State level to create an enabling atmosphere for women empowerment and ensure equal rights for women in all spheres of life. In same vein, LEDAP calls on civil Society organizations, activists, advocates, International organizations and relevant state agencies to increase momentum in the demand for the passage of the GOE bill; since this innovative bill has within it every element to promote the realization of gender equality in Nigeria.
Senior Programmes Manager (LEDAP)