16 Days of Activism 2021
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