By Catherine Agbo, Abuja
As the world celebrated the International Woman’s Day 2020 on March 8, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria has made a case for women to enjoy their basic rights.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Rhoda Prevail Tyoden, Country Vice President/National President and Eliana Martins National Publicity Secretary, and made available to DAILY ASSET in Abuja on Sunday.
The theme for this year is “I Am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights.”
“We declare that women all over the world are priceless, strong, focused and multi-talented beings who hold society together and deserve to be celebrated every day! But most of all, they deserve to enjoy their basic rights.
“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society. We will achieve it when both women and men alike enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society,” a part of the statement read.
FIDA Nigerian said women must be allowed to enjoy greater economic empowerment and participation; more opportunities in leadership positions and decision-making, better opportunities for a girl child education, more women in political appointments, and women allowed to inherit and own property to mention a few.
“It is also key that the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women and men are valued, favored and allowed to grow and flourish. Women can be anything they so desire without limitation and should not be stifled by stereotyping and old labor laws that are limiting and discriminatory against women.”
The body decried that challenges still exist despite the enactment of relevant new laws such as Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA), The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 (VAPP), “as we see challenges in implementing the laws, in creating enabling structures to ensure the effective implementation of women’s rights.”
“Human rights are tools of dignity and equality and are to be enjoyed by all human beings at all times irrespective of sex, race, color, religion, or language. Women’s rights are likewise fundamental human rights as enshrined 70 years ago by the United Nations for every human being on the planet and guaranteed by our Nigerian Constitution.
“This year’s IWD theme aligns with the UN Women’s new multi-generational campaign ‘Generation Equality’; This year, we mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. FIDA congratulates all women for the successes recorded so far; and also encourages all stakeholders because though we have accomplished much, a lot more remains to be achieved.
“Therefore, we must continue to engage, discuss, collaborate and review ways of further promoting gender equality in our country, while setting new standards on practical ways for greater forward growth,” it added
Recalling the recent attacks on the character and invasion of privacy of the Hon Justice Mary Odili, JSC because of a judgement delivered by a panel she headed and more recently the infringement of human rights and discrimination against the Hon. Justice Akon Ikpeme by her non appointment as the substantive Chief judge of Cross River State, FIDA pointed out that these are successful women who have reached the pinnacle of their careers yet their basic rights are still denied or infringed upon. On the other hand, we acknowledge the progress recorded in stopping harmful practices such as child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), but said there is still much work to be done to completely eliminate such practices.