In what can be termed an auspicious moment, FIDA Nigeria commenced the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism with the theme “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women NOW” by holding a press conference on the 25th of November 2021, at Zeus Paradise Hotel. The Press Conference also heralded FIDA Nigeria’s Annual General Conference
On Thursday, 25th of November, 2021; the official opening ceremony of the AGC commenced with an opening remark delivered by the Country Vice President, Rhoda Prevail Tyoden. She declared that “the tools for addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment” have to be pursued relentlessly for a just and equal society, as this has been acknowledged as an important objective for many decades.
In attendance were Hon. Justices, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Heads of Parastatals, Officials from the Nigerian Police – Force Gender Officer, NAPTIP, Country Representatives of FIDA, Donors/Partners, The NBA Secretary, Civil Society Organizations, FIDA International Officers, FIDA Nigeria Board of Trustees, National Executive Committee & National Executive Council
The Opening ceremony was followed by a Plenary Session Stakeholders Hub with the topic: Charting New Means of Ensuring Implementation of Gender-Based Laws with discussants from the Ministry of Women Affairs, NAPTIP, WRAPA, Nigeria Police Force (Gender Desk) Concluding with a plenary session.
In the evening members attended a delightful event called a “Night out with the CVP”
It was colorful, with lots to eat and drink, entertaining and filled with fun and laughter as members toasted to the CVP and to FIDIA Nigeria
Theme: “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women NOW!
FIDA Nigeria joins the world in commemorating the annual 16 Days Activism on ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) with a lineup of several activities, commencing from 25th November to 10th December 2021 which is the Human Rights Day.
Violence against Women and Girls is a clear gross violation of their fundamental human rights. It is a global health and developmental issue that cuts across economic wealth, culture, religion, age, and sexual orientation. Furthermore, it is one of the most extreme expressions of unequal gender relations in our society, accordingly it remains a critical factor for the optimum contribution and development of women and girls in our society.
Women and the girl child are subjected in many climes to live and survive in domestic settings that threaten their very existence and proper development. The Covid-19 Pandemic showed more than ever that women are the most disadvantaged in the society, as the pandemic fueled an exponential increase in VAWG through domestic and physical abuse, rape, psychological abuse, FGM, early marriage etc.
Estimates published by WHO indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime, these statistics are certainly worrisome and cannot be ignored.
We acknowledge that the theme is apt and appreciate the emphasis on ending the violence NOW, stressing the urgency required and emphasize that all persons are born free, equal and must be respected and protected. As such women and indeed girls must be kept safe from all forms of violence
FIDA appreciates the serious nature of the issue at hand, and salutes all front liners for their service, commitment and sacrifice, as we equally empathize with all victims and survivors daily exposed to these heinous crimes and acknowledge the supportive roles played by key actors and stakeholders in ending this atrocious crime. The declaration of a State of Emergency by the Federal Government on the 11th of June 2020 was a further great accomplishment for all activists, which led to the adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, 2015 in more states of the federation thereby ensuring that we are equipped with the necessary laws.
FIDA Nigeria greatly stepped up her intervention efforts at curbing the high rate of GBV, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown by engaging in different proactive programs and strategies, such as reviewed case management, economic empowerment, provision of shelter, provision of adequate referral pathways for survivors, and most especially provision of legal aid and quick access to justice for survivors.
Worthy of note was our partnership with UN Women to implement the Spotlight Initiative Project on Eliminating all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls with a particular focus on sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices. With this, we created awareness by carrying out targeted advocacy and the resultant effect was increase in reported GBV cases and the handling of such cases. Also, In partnership with Ford Foundation, FIDA Nigeria is working with Gatekeepers including Women Leaders, Youth, Religious Leaders and Traditional Rulers to Address Social Norms that Negatively Affect the Status of Women and Entrench Violence Against Women and Girls: The project is aimed at mitigating the incidence of GBV in two communities each in Ekiti, Lagos, and Plateau states by altering the social norms, beliefs, and traditional practices in the target communities through community-led change
Our Paralegal training project is self-funded by FIDA Nigeria and is being implemented in all our state branches across the federation which is aimed at bringing our services closer to the people and getting them involved in the fight to end violence against women and girls.
FIDA therefore draws the attention all stakeholders to the following as deserving prompt action: Spousal/Domestic Abuse; Workplace Abuse (in formal and informal sectors) and Violence in institutions as we commend the National Assembly for the law against harassment in our higher institutions and the recently launched sexual harassment policy of the Nigerian Bar Association.
The urgent need arises for shared responsibility, improved tactics, response strategies, collaborations, this is the crux of our discussion at our annual General Conference holding from 24th to 29th of November 2021, with the theme Addressing Gender-Based Violence: New Tools
In the prevention and elimination of VAW and Girls we must increase awareness and advocacy efforts; Sharing knowledge, intervention strategies and innovations are also a must. Institutions and communities must therefore be proactive and develop policies that prevent and deal forthwith with abuse to act as a deterrent
Furthermore, FIDA Nigeria drove advocacy efforts in the West African sub-region through the publication of a policy brief on “The urgent need to address the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Women and Girls in West African Commonwealth countries” targeted at Legislators and the Executive members of Governments to act fast in ending the violence against women and girls in the region.
This call remains a desideratum as the rate of violence still escalates, and is still at an all-time high due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls which is fueled by patriarchy and misogyny. We must stress here Community challenges such as cultural and traditional practices which perpetuate gender inequality and abuse. These must all be stopped NOW
Putting an end to gender-based violence and discrimination is a global priority that requires collective action, consequently, as the world marks this year’s 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence, FIDA Nigeria calls on all stakeholders to collectively join hands together in the Orange the world activism campaign through mass sensitization, prevention, protection and enforcement measures to ensure the Elimination of these ills in our society, we believe that the protection of survivors of GBV; the accelerated adoption of the VAPP Act, the Child Rights Act in all States, and the review of the Penal Code to be in tandem with the VAPP Act will greatly aid this call.
We insist on the enforcement and implementation of all legislation related to gender-based violence which should be followed to the later and encourage stakeholders to collaborate and develop implementation emergency response plans just as we appeal for better continuous Community and Sector dialogue with planned practical activities to foster improved interventions
We emphasize immediate action NOW
Join us let’s Orange the World, let us work together to End violence against women NOW!
In all of this, FIDA Nigeria remains committed to the fight to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence, we shall continue to advance the cause, fund and support programs, respond to calls, and take early leads in the prevention of all forms of GBV against the vulnerable in society. We strongly believe that if women are not safe, they cannot grow healthy as such cannot provide the requisite care needed by their families (the resultant effect is dysfunctional families); nor can women likewise positively contribute to the growth and development of their communities.
FIDA Nigeria’s commitment remains resolute in the protection, promotion and preservation of the rights of women and children, and will continue to provide free legal representation and advice to survivors of GBV in Nigeria.
Support this worthy fight, March with us
Speak out with us, collaborate with us for
Joint action to stand together and fight together NOW!
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
The FIDA Nigeria Annual General Conference (AGC) kick-started with a welcome cocktail held at Sentosa Parks & Garden, Apo, FCT Abuja on the 24th of November 2021. The cocktail began at about 6 pm. Fidans from over 38 branches in attendance were warmly welcomed to Abuja by the host branch FIDA Abuja, represented by the Chairperson, Rekia Racheal Adejo-Andrew. The evening was relaxing with refreshments and dance.
FIDA Nigeria side event at the 61st NBA Annual General Conference at Yakubu Gowon Stadium Elekahia Port-Harcout Rivers State, held on the 27th Of October 2021 with the theme “Taking the lead in Women’s Voice and Leadership”
The session was moderated by FIDA Nigeria’s National Secretary Mrs. Evelyn Membere-Asimea, Hon. Justice Elsie Thompson as the lead speaker, Toun Okewale Sonaiya and Babs Olugbemi as co discussants.
In attendance was the First Lady of Rivers Her Excellency Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzette Nyesome-Wike, the country Vice/National President FIDA Nigeria, Honourable Inime Aguma, honourable Commissioner for Social Welfare Rivers State, NBA General-Secretary Joyce Oduah, alongside FIDA Nigeria National Officers, chairpersons and secretaries of branches with their executives.
FIDA Nigeria members turned out massively for the event, as the 1000 capacity sitter of the main hall of the venue was filled to the brim.
FIDA Nigeria’s Statement Condemning the Invasion Of Property And Privacy Of Hon Justice Mary Odili, Jsc On 29/10/2021.
FIDA Nigeria condemns in totality the recent bombardment and invasion of the privacy of Hon Justice Mary Odili, JSC at her premises in Abuja by persons identified as EFCC operatives and other security operatives working under the guise of carrying out an ‘investigation’.
Subsequent events and inquiries have shown no clarity as to their intent and purpose particularly being that the search warrant they operated under was reported cancelled having been obtained under false information. Although the EFCC and other government establishments are denying involvement, this itself is worrisome and goes to show how insecure we are in this country.
FIDA strongly objects to the mischievous and callous behaviour of the so-called ‘operatives’ carrying out illegal operations based on personal whims and caprices.
Furthermore, the repeated and continuous harassment of the highly distinguished person of Hon Justice Mary Odili JSC, a notable and reputable member of the Judiciary, the threat to her life and property, and the infringement of her privacy cannot be condoned or tolerated.
Besides her privacy rights as a citizen of Nigeria, which have been breached, we must collectively also rise to protect the doctrine of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary, (a third arm of government) which must not be compromised in any shape or form.
We demand a thorough investigation into this matter and the exposure and punishment of the culprits involved; in addition to an unreserved apology to the Honorable Justice of the Supreme Court, (the highest court in the land) who has served this country most meritoriously. FIDA NIGERIA obligates to throw her weight and amplify her voice against all forms of infringement of the rights of a respected and hardworking jurist of our nation.
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President