On the 16th of October 2019, in Furtherance of FIDA Nigeria’s mission of Protecting the Rights of Women and Children, Fidans engaged on an Advocacy Walk to the Nigeria Police Headquarters, Abuja and visited the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police. Members were warmly received by the AIG Alkali, the PRO Frank Mba and other high ranking Police Officials
FIDA Nigeria advocated for the police to rise up to their statutory responsibilities and do a lot more to Stop All Forms of Violence Against Women and Children; they sensitized the Police on recently passed legislations such as the (VAPP) Act (2015) which can be used by them in prosecution; FIDA agreed to support the Police in training it’s officers particularly those on the Gender Desks at Police Stations, including other proactive collaborations for the benefit of the vulnerable groups. The positive role FIDA plays in the society was appreciated and commended, the police force gladly welcomed any help that may be received from FIDA in the future
The 2019 FIDA Africa Regional Congress held a Thanksgiving Service on Sunday 13th October 2019, at the Corner Stone Baptist Church, Gwarinpa, Abuja, where delegates in their large numbers attended the spiritually uplifting service
The formal Opening Ceremony for the FIDA Africa Regional Congress was held on the 13th day of October, 2019.
The Red-Carpet event began at 5pm at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Center, Wuse, Abuja.
A beautiful warm Welcome Address was given by the FIDA Regional Vice President (North and West), Chief Mrs Victoria Awomolo, SAN.
The Chairperson for the occasion Dame Pauline Tallen, the Hon. Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, gave an opening remark and an address by the international president was made.
Goodwill messages were received from the following: The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, her Excellency Aisha Buhari, The Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Hon. Justice, Dr Ibrahim Muhammed, Hon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, ably represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation Mr Dayo Apata SAN,
FIDA International President Shadhana Gunaratnam ably represented by the FIDA International Treasurer Charisse Brown, from the Bahamas. Hon. Justice Mary Odili, President of the National Association of Women Judges and the Chairperson of the FIDA Nigeria Board of Trustees, Chief Mrs Tessa Ikimi. After which an inspiring and most motivational poem was presented by Dike Chukwumerije: ‘How Can I Help’.
The keynote paper was presented by Prof Joy Ezeilo on the Theme for the Congress “The Growth of Women and Children in Africa: Beyond Rhetoric”.
The opening ceremony was concluded with a vote of thanks by the Chairperson, planning committee, Mrs Amina Suzanah Agbaje.
On the 12th day of October 2019, several indigent women sponsored to acquire different skills at the Skills Acquisition program, in different fields such as stoning, pastries, beading, sewing, soap making etc., where in attendance.
An exhibition of the finished products was held at the Center, Following which fifty women were empowered to enable them set up their businesses and hopefully succeed
FIDA Nigeria joins the rest of the world in marking the International Day of the Girl Child, 2019, with the theme “Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable”. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting their empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
We celebrate the strength within our daughters, against all the odds that the Nigerian society stacks against them daily. The girl child is faced with challenges ranging from early marriage to denial of formal education, trafficking, prostitution and female genital mutilation. These ills have crippled the potentials of our female children who are of inestimable value to our society and economy.
According to UNICEF, with the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) among girls and women aged 15-49 years at 27 percent, Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of women and girls (19.9 million) who have undergone FGM/C worldwide. It is more commonly practiced in the south, driven by grandmothers and mothers-in-law who aiming to curb promiscuity as they prepare girls for marriage expose them to this harmful practice.
In addition, a report by Save the Children states that Nigeria has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rate in the world. A 2017 report by UNICEF also states that 43% of Nigerian girls are married off before their 18th birthday, while 17% are married before they turn 15. Childbearing for these child-brides is risky as many of them are not physically ready for either pregnancy or labour. Thus, many of these girls go on to have Vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) or Recto-vaginal fistula (RVF) or a combination of both.
All the above acts culminate in gender-based violence which FIDA Nigeria stands against. FIDA Nigeria, is an organization with a mandate to enhance, promote, protect and preserve the rights and welfare of women and children.
The VAPP Act is the benchmark legislation for prosecuting gender-based violence in Nigeria and there is therefore the need to ensure its adoption
FIDA Nigeria calls for collective efforts from all – parents, guardians, traditional institutions, religious leaders, faith and community based organizations, civil society organizations, international institutions and their agencies, the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, and all other key stakeholders – to join hands to improve the plight of the Nigerian girl child. To empower them, inequality and gender gaps must be reduced, which will culminate in strong women leaders. Nurturing the girl child is a way of insuring the future against absenteeism of women from the socio-political, cultural and economic spheres of the country.
We urge the Government to ensure the full implementation of the Child’s Rights Act, the Violence against Person’s (Prohibition) Act (VAPP Act), 2015 and all laws that support the full development of the girl child. We demand programmes to support the girl child’s social, intellectual and indeed total development, as a key actor in the sustainable development agenda. We believe that with early education of the girl child on her rights and the diverse opportunities that lie ahead of her, she will become unstoppable and act unscripted.
Let us all join hands to make the Girl Child #UNSTOPPABLE
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
FIDA Abuja was at the Faculty of Law, BAZE University On the 27th of September to train law students on Gender based Violence. They were trained by the branch’s remarkable Assistant General Secretary, Ezinwa Obiajunwa, a passionate activist on issues relating to gender equality, children and human rights violations with over 5 years’ experience.
The event captured all the various forms of GBV and achieved the purpose of educating the youth, understanding that they are the future of tomorrow.
FIDA Abuja took up this project in partnership with Oxfam voice project and looks forward to a continuing relationship in sensitizing the Nigerian people on the VAPP Act and other relevant laws in line with the FIDA objectives.
Rumuokrushi Community played Host to FIDA Rivers on Thursday the 26th September 2019.
The delegation led by the Chairperson Pst. Ngozi Ighosevbe.
The program which had over a hundred participants, had the Chaiperson pst Ighosevbe giving an overview of the VAPP Act and Sisters Chidinma Otuka, Kemi Ogunnoiki, Esther Achor- Korienta, Mercy Hirse- Damina further enlightening them on various sections provided in the abridged version of the Act.
On the 25th of September 2019, FIDA Imo State branch Secretariat building was commissioned by His Excellency the Governor of Imo State Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha ably represented by Nze Meekam Mgbenwelu (Hon Commissioner for Technology Development). Members of the Board of Trustees and the National Executives of FIDA Nigeria were also in attendance.
FIDA Nigeria Rivers state branch was hosted by the State’s Deputy Governor Dr. Nrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo on Monday the 23rd September 2019, to discuss possibilities in ensuring a temporary rehabilitation space for traumatized victims \ survivors of all forms of abuse\violence.
FIDA Rivers sincerely appreciates this great opportunity and kind gesture from our amiable humanitarian Deputy Governor.