16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls,”
The International Federation of Women Lawyers – FIDA Nigeria, lends its voice to the global call
to create a world free from violence by joining the international community to observe the 16
Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which is an annual campaign that runs from the
25th of November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), until the
10th of December (Human Rights Day).
The 16 Days of Activism campaign serves as a powerful rallying cry to individuals and
organizations worldwide to address, prevent, and eradicate one of the world’s most persistent
violations of human rights, which is violence against women and girls. This campaign gained
momentum in 2008 when the United Nations Secretary-General launched the UNITE by 2030
campaign, running parallel to the 16 Days of Activism.
The Campaign theme for 2023, “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls,”
is a profound call for action to end violence against women and girls which has been an endemic
and continuous scourge. This call underscores the critical need for state actors to raise awareness
about gender-based violence, galvanize advocacy, and share knowledge and innovations to end
violence against women and girls while also challenging discriminatory attitudes and policies.
This year’s UNITE campaign theme aligns with the 2024 theme of the Commission on the Status
of Women (CSW68) “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment
of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with
a gender perspective”.
As champions for the protection of women’s rights, FIDA Nigeria has from time immemorial
leveraged its legal expertise and global advocacy fora to advocate for these rights through the
prevention and mitigation of incidences of violence against women and girls. This is achieved
using widespread advocacy and legal framework to push for reforms that strengthen protection
against gender-based violence. Sadly, despite the plethora of laws in existence to combat
violence against women and girls, weak enforcement and discriminatory social norms remain
significant hindrances to their effectiveness.
FIDA’s impact extends to grassroots communities through a significant increase in the number of State Branches that carry out legal clinics, sensitization and outreach programs to foster awareness, educate on rights and dismantle stigmas associated with gender-based violence. Survivors of gender-based violence are assured of getting justice through free legal assistance and the necessary empowerment to reconstruct their lives.
FIDA Nigeria remains steadfast in its commitment to prevent violence against women and girls
and calls on Government, the Private sector, Civil society organizations, the Media and indeed all
stakeholders to amplify their commitments and investments for improved laws and violence
prevention. Gender-based violence is a global problem that requires concerted global action! We
need to all join hands to build a safe and more inclusive world for women and girls.
Let us therefore UNITE and invest in a future for women and girls that is completely free from
the grim scourge of gender-based violence!
Amina Suzanah Agbaje, (Mrs.)
Country Vice President/National President