FIDA Nigeria mourns the passing of a great Fidan, Pioneer Chairperson FIDA Nigeria Oyo State Branch .
‘Mama’ as she was fondly called, was indeed a great inspiration to many; an exemplary leader who led a very impactful life, touching different lives as a mother, friend, sister, colleague, associate and mentor.
She was resolute in her cause of positively improving the lot of women and children, particularly in Oyo State.
This is a great loss to all Fidans, especially Fida Oyo State branch and NBA members. Our Learned Silk, will be sorely missed.
FIDA Nigeria wishes to express her most sincere condolences to the family of our dear Mama P. C. Ajayi-Obe (Erinle).
May her soul rest eternally in the bosom of the Lord. Amen
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria is a non-profit, non-governmental organization made up of over 2,000 female lawyers with several years’ experience in utilizing the law to address social problems in Nigeria. The organization’s mandate is the enhancement, promotion, protection, and preservation of the rights and welfare of women and children in Nigeria FIDA Nigeria implements key projects and activities aimed at providing access to justice to indigent persons, particularly women and children.
FIDA Nigeria is recruiting to fill the position below:
Job title: Programme Officer Locations: Ekiti, Rivers, Plateau and Lagos
Vacancy Type: One-year fixed-term, renewable
The individual will work on a Ford-Foundation funded project on – “Work with Gatekeepers which includes 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”. FIDA Nigeria seeks to mitigate the incidence of gender-based violence in two communities/local government areas of Ekiti, Rivers, Plateau, and Lagos states, through community-led change, by altering the social norms, beliefs and traditional practices that subjugate women and girls in the target communities. Many acts of gender-based violence stem from traditional and religious practices and beliefs. Thus, it is necessary to invest in attitudinal/behavioural change of individuals as well as community shifts from harmful cultural practices.
The programme officer will work under the overall guidance and supervision of FIDA Nigeria National President/Country Vice President, National Secretary, and other National Executives, and report to them through the programme manager.
Duties and Responsibilities
The successful candidate will carry out the following tasks:
- Under the supervision of the National Program Manager, provide technical leadership on the implementation of the project in the state.
- Plan and implement project activities in the state in close collaboration with the resident FIDA state branch and proactively deal with arising challenges, nuances, or changes.
- In collaboration with the resident FIDA State branch, develop and maintain stakeholder and network relationships which are essential to the successful implementation of the project.
- Develop products and prepare project and activity reports, technical briefings, background papers, and update notes for the project in the state.
- Contribute to the adherence to donor/grant requirements, including financial standards.
- Collaborate with the accounts staff to ensure the proper management of financial records, including the provision of complete documentation for requests and retirements.
- Support the smooth and effective flow of communication with FIDA Nigeria and the state branch.
- Support the programme manager and other project staff in following-up communication with partners, including official letters, requests for technical assistance, and the process of identifying participants and national experts, including trainers, for activities under the project.
- Represent (with approval from the Branch Chairperson and program manager) the State Branch at meetings, workshops, etc., and report back to the respective persons.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the National Executive Committee, Branch Chairperson, or Program Manager.
- Demonstrates professional competence in women and children’s rights and rule of law as well as, knowledge of relevant laws;
- Demonstrates a good understanding of the Ford-Foundation funded project to mitigate the incidence of gender-based violence, through community-led change, by altering the social norms, beliefs, and traditional practices that subjugate women and girls in the target communities.
- Demonstrates knowledge of programme management cycle, including monitoring and reporting;
- Ability to identify and contribute to the solution of problems/issues with a display of persistency;
- Commitment and passion for work and achievements;
- Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results;
- Motivated by professional rather than personal concerns;
- Display of persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges and ability to remain calm in stressful situations;
- Ability to incorporate gender and child rights perspectives in the project and activities.
- Ability to collaborate with colleagues within and outside of FIDA Nigeria to achieve organizational goals;
- Ability to solicit inputs by genuinely valuing the ideas and expertise of others;
- Willingness to learn from others;
1. Minimum required experience:
- 4 years’ work experience in advocacy for women and children’s rights issues.
- Experience in project implementation.
- Experience in community relations and mobilization.
2. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree in any of the following: Political Science, Law, or any discipline in the Social Sciences.
3. Languages: Fluency in written and spoken English & any prominent local language spoken in the State is desirable.
Qualified candidates should send curriculum vitae and cover letter addressed to the Country Vice-President/National President to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The subject of the e-mail should be “Application for the Position of Programme Officer [State]”.
Deadline: July 3, 2020.
Please note that Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and location of Project.
Let’s put plans in place to protect and secure the future of our Children who are entitled to enjoy their childhood! Let all States adopt the Child Rights Act (2003) which provides for the protection of the child in all ramifications. The Best Interest of the Child is Paramount in all things.
As the world marks the World Day Against Child Labour, we are reminded by UNICEF’s Factsheet on Child Labour in Nigeria 2006 that, a staggering 15 million children under the age of 14 are working across Nigeria Many are exposed to long hours of work in dangerous and unhealthy environments, carrying too much responsibility for their age. Working in these hazardous conditions with little food, small pay, no education and no medical care establishes a cycle of child rights violations. These are terrible statistics which as a nation we should not be proud of and must take proactive steps to redress.
Yet it is so glaring to see as we look all around us, this depressing sight, confirming that the average Nigerian child works to contribute and support his/her family. Consequently, the child’s right to be free from engaging in child labour is most easily and daily breached such that it can readily be termed abrogated.
This year the International Labour Organization (ILO), calls on all to focus on assessing the impact of ‘crisis’ on child labour. This is appropriate, particularly with the current COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged countries creating uncontrollable crises everywhere.
The resultant effect has socially and economically been disastrous on families with the complete lockdown; not to mention the expectant negative effect being majorly felt on the labour market with the downsizing, job loss, and the folding-up of businesses, etc. Furthermore, government must look into reviewing our current labour law which does not offer adequate protection to the vulnerable in these times.
With families striving to survive through uncertain futures, the comfort bracket is thrown out the window and everyone must contribute to the daily needs of their family. Unfortunately, children are often during such challenging times, the first to suffer, often being deprived of needed necessaries and thereafter forced to join the labour market in whatever capacity just to fend for themselves and their families.
This current crisis can therefore worsen the statistics and push even millions of vulnerable children into child labour, perhaps even doing hazardous work to survive. As such, the Nigerian child is now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are most challenging and difficult for his or her development and survival.
FIDA Nigeria in pointing out this issue, appeals for the prompt need to pay better attention, and to put in place a more coordinated work plan to protect children from this predicament; in addition to social welfare packages that will better benefit and protect our children; as opposed to exposing them to peril and danger under the guise of job apprenticeship where they are often taken advantage of and or compelled to go into forced labour just to meet their needs.
Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders in 2015 calls on the global community to: “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”
Based on this Sustainable Development Goals we remind government of the need for a renewed commitment to ending child labour in Nigeria. In furtherance of which FIDA Nigeria calls on the Nigerian government to show commitment and honour to, and respect for the Conventions that she has ratified. We ask government to bring forth into prompt action, the political will to do the needful for the best interest of the child.
Children have a right to be free from child labour. We must do more than talk about this, a strategic plan backed by social welfare benefits for the child is essential and imperative at this time of crisis.
FIDA Nigeria speaks for the vulnerable children out there at great risk of delving into forced labour as a result of the crises occasioned by this 2020 pandemic.
Let’s put plans in place to protect and secure the future of our Children who are entitled to enjoy their childhood! Let all States adopt the Child Rights Act (2003) which provides for the protection of the child in all ramifications.
For FIDA Nigeria:
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National publicity secretary
A CALL FOR PROMPT ACTION TO CURB THE ALARMING INCREASE IN GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (GBV) CASES IN NIGERIA
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION,
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE,
CHIEF JUDGES OF THE STATES OF THE FEDERATION,
SPEAKERS OF THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY,
ATTORNEY GENERALS OF THE STATES OF THE FEDERATION,
COMMISSIONERS OF POLICE OF THE VARIOUS STATE COMMANDS AND
It is no more news that there has been a tremendous acceleration in the number of gender-based violence cases, particularly the abuse and rape of women and the defilement of babies and children across the States of Nigeria. With these evil and unpleasant happenings in our communities, our children, girls, and women are no longer safe.
FIDA Nigeria makes this clarion call to major key players for a more holistic and aggressive approach in tackling this serious challenge across Nigeria.
FIDA Nigeria strongly objects to this evil trend of the incessant abuse and sexual molestation of women and children and demands speedy and decisive action.
The government needs to declare a state of emergency on gender-based violence so it is tackled forthwith, most efficiently and effectively across all states of the Federation.
Rape and Defilement are CRIMES! If you do the Crime, you must be prosecuted and adequately punished for the crime. There must be NO Compromise nor the settlement of any such cases!
FIDA’s mandate is to protect, preserve, and promote the rights of the vulnerable in society, especially the indigent women and children who are often preyed upon. We must heed their cry and come to their immediate aid.
- All States should ensure that they have in place the enacted laws or have reviewed their laws to deal with this menace adequately. We call for the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, the Child Rights Law, and other related laws. All states that have not adopted the VAPP ACT should with utmost urgency adopt the Act.
Also, we advocate that the enabling structures and facilities that will ensure the effective implementation of the VAPP Act be put in place, this includes and most importantly the setting up and efficient running of the Implementation Committee provided for by the law.
- The Police who have the responsibility to arrest, investigate these cases must be well equipped to fight this menace diligently to secure convictions that will serve as a deterrent to offenders.
FIDA insists on the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and punishment of offenders. We request the setup and activation of ‘Gender desk’ in all police posts or stations manned by trained personnel and the free opening of case files for Gender-Based Violence cases.
- We call on the Chief Judge’ in the different States to designate a special fast track court to handle Gender-Based Violence matters; while also issuing practice direction on GBV cases and children related matters to ensure we expedite the prosecution of such matters in court. We are also appealing for the establishment of the family court in line with the provision of the Child Rights Act/ Law and the provision of all machinery to ensure it begins operation speedily.
- We also call on the Attorney General of the respective states to graciously grant FIATs without unnecessary bureaucratic protocols to persons/ bodies (such as FIDA) desirous of aiding this fight against sexual predators, so they can prosecute such criminal cases directly. You can also set up specialized units in the Ministry of Justice to handle GBV matters.
- Protection and support for victims of GBV, including shelters in all states.
- We advocate for the establishment of a Sexual Referral Center (one-stop-shop) with Rapid Response Teams attached, comprising the police, doctors, lawyers, social welfare officers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. To reduce the victim trauma and aid the preservation of evidence for the effective prosecution of perpetrators.
- Free medical (including Psycho-analysis) treatment for victims of rape/defilement.
- Opening and operation of the Sex Offenders Register across all the states of the Federation in line with the provision of the VAPP Act/ Law.
- A prompt collaborative effort by all stakeholders, we must work together to fight this evil successfully.
- The classification of CSOs and NGOs who directly work on gender-based violence matters as ‘Essential Services’ during such pandemics will be very productive; besides budgeted funding to support their work in this fight.
FIDA Nigeria calls on ALL to speak out against these evil and atrocious acts meted out against defenceless women and children in our communities. We must rise on their behalf, and demand for justice. Faith-based institutions, community leaders, must also speak out and condemn such acts.
The shaming, victimization, and stigmatization of Victims of Gender-Based Violence must stop. Rather let us shame the ACT and the perpetrators while encouraging victims to speak out and report all Abuses.
FIDA is committed to undertaking more advocacy and sensitization on matters of GBV and calls on all to join the fight against GBV
We stand united with other NGOs and CSOs to say NO to this evil permeating our communities.
This is a call to prompt action; because Justice delayed, is Justice denied!
For FIDA NIGERIA:
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
FIDA Calls for the Confirmation of Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as Substantive President of The Court of Appeal
FIDA Nigeria expresses her gratitude to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for reappointing Honorable Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the acting President of the Court of Appeal. We are also glad to read that this re-appointment is because of the hard work and meritorious service of the Honorable judge.
Pursuant to Section 238(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Honourable Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem has been acting as the President of the Court of Appeal as of right, is the “most senior Justice of the Court of Appeal” following the retirement of the Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as substantive President of the Court.
FIDA Nigeria continues to support credible hardworking, meritorious women to break the glass ceiling around them. Having served diligently and upon reaching the pinnacle of their careers, women should not be deprived of their right to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
FIDA Nigeria notes that Hon. Justice Dongban- Mensem’s tenure in an acting capacity was only extended, we do not wish to go into the legality of this action or it’s adherence to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we, however, are worried that this trend is one too many, the recent case in Cross River State and Gombe State is an example.
FIDA Nigeria believes and have confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari, to act on the recommendation of the NJC by forwarding the name of Hon. Justice Dongban-Mensem to the Senate for confirmation, as the substantive President of the Court of Appeal. This will be well applauded as a reward of hard work, having discharged her duties diligently and satisfactorily and will also be a proof of adherence to the Constitution and the tenets of fairness and justice.
For FIDA Nigeria:
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
FIDA shouts out, “STOP ALL forms of violence against persons”! Enough is Enough! The COVID-19 lockdown is not an excuse for gender-based violence!
FIDA Nigeria expresses great dismay at the continuous rise in gender-based violence cases reported during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Nigeria, often resulting in grievous bodily harm, psychological trauma and even death.
The facts of the reported cases across Nigeria are heart wrenching. Some these cases include (to mention a few):
Lagos – A 16- year old girl, Tina Ezekwe, shot to death by police; negligence leading to the death of a baby precipitated by a male partner.
Edo- A 22- year old University of Benin student, Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, raped and killed in a church.
Ondo- Tope Onifade, whose two daughters were defiled by their father who claimed the cause of their bleeding was as a result of dysentery ailment.
Osun- The headless naked bodies of a woman and her child left in a gutter.
Enugu- Baby Ebube Christy Umeh violently abused with a razor blade by a neighbour; and a woman who battered her 6 months old child with razor cuts because his father refused to marry her.
Bayelsa – A baby rescued from trafficking by his young mother.
Cross River – Chioma, a 14-year-old, raped by her landlord’s son who is a 31-year-old father of three children
Jigawa- A 12- year old girl raped by 11 men.
Osogbo- Mother tied her son in a sack and left him in her wardrobe for three days for stealing
Bauchi- A girl child bride (wife) stabbed her husband to death so she could return to her parents.
Yobe- Halima, whose hand was cut off by her husband for not taking permission to go out to attend a wedding.
FIDA condemns these daily gory tales of GBV which is indicative of a debased society bereft of a value system that emphasizes safety at home or even in worship centres, from parents, spouse or even police. This must change as the consequences and effects on the victims and their families have long term negative impact on society.
It is unacceptable that the police mandated to arrest and prosecute are presently not forth coming, leaning on compliance with COVID-19 regulations, which include social distancing in their stations and the decongestion of cells, as an excuse. They would rather push parties for a prompt settlement and compensation of the victim for an offence, regardless of the severity of such offence.
The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015, is a landmark legislation on the prohibition of all forms of violence against persons in Nigeria. The Act prohibits all forms of violence against persons in private and public life, and provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishments of offenders. Therefore, all stakeholders should call for a stop against all forms of violence against persons especially women, children and the vulnerable in our society!
FIDA calls to immediate action the following:
The Public– Closely watch children/wards and protect them so they are not raped or abused; adults to avoid antagonizing each other, especially when there are already underlining issues with abuse; be tolerant and accommodating; report cases of violence and do not stigmatize victims or shame them, or insist that they forgive offenders so to prevent their prosecution; and stop excusing offenders claiming that it is the “devil at work”; insist on punishing offenders for their offence.
The Police– Safe guard and protect the people; keep open all gender desks at each police station to accommodate reports on domestic violence and make quick responses/intervention when called; be understanding when dealing with victims; prosecute the offenders and do not compel settlement of cases.
The Government – Provide the requisite, infrastructure, equipment etc., to ensure citizens are adequately protected; enable the police to carry out their functions; set up special dedicated courts for the trial and prosecution of gender based offenders during the lockdown to send a clear warning to all; equip and enable the Judiciary to sit regularly during the lockdown to attend to such GBV matters; provide more shelters for the care and protection of victims; enable and support stakeholders collaborative rapid response teams for GBV across states.
Stakeholders– Better collaboration and coordination between all stakeholders and provision of one-stop centres for rapid response on GBV across states.
FIDA Nigeria is committed to providing legal support to the vulnerable. So, let’s work together to ensure that all offenders are brought to justice and adequately punished in line with our laws so it serves as a deterrent to others. RAPE is certainly not a family matter; it is an OFFENCE! We all have a role to play in ending the rape culture in our society. Let’s demand accountability and through our actions, say an unequivocal NO TO RAPE!
FIDA strives to bring to an end, the violence, abuse, exploitation and violation of women and children which has become very rampant in our society, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
If you or someone you know is experiencing such domestic violence, please report the case or contact FIDA Nigeria’s hotline- 07088496115.
Stay Strong, Stay Safe!
Stay at home, but Stop the abuse!
Stand against rape and the culture of silence!
Signed for FIDA Nigeria
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
FIDA Webinar 2: “Stakeholders Discourse on Protecting Women and Children during the Covid-19 Pandemic”
As part of FIDA Nigeria’s intervention strategies during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, a Second WEBINAR was hosted on May 29, 2020, themed “Sharing experiences: Stakeholders Discourse on Protecting Women and Children during this Pandemic”
The purpose was to bring together key stakeholders to enable them share their experiences so we can collectively adopt new strategies to protecting the vulnerable during these precarious times
- Jacinta Ike (FCT SGBVRT)
- Ijeoma Amugo (NAPTIP)
- Dr. Minnie Oseji (MWAN)
- Chief Magistrate Adefunke Anoma (Family Court)
- Dr Fatima Akilu (NEEN Foundation) and
- Evelyn Membere-Asimiea (FIDA Nig)
Key take home points and expectations going forward included the following:
- The need for greater Sensitization on the VAPP Act
- Ensure prosecution of all GBV cases; no settlement
- Need for more collaboration by all stakeholders
- Break the culture of silence and stigmatization
- Take advocacy to the men and youth to stop VAW
- Position ourselves to be there for increased numbers of defiled and or abandoned children, teen age pregnancies etc.
- The need for greater counseling for offenders and victims
- Physcho – social intervention necessary; punishment must be combined with treatment
- More one stop intervention centers to be set up across the states
- Hotlines for easy access this period
- The need for the training of paralegals to assist at the grassroots for quick intervention
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden,
FIDA Nigeria CVP, the hostess for the program encouraged greater collaboration and quick responses by all stakeholders when called upon despite the several challenges of the lockdown.
The WEBINAR was moderated by Mrs. Eliana Martins FIDA Nigeria National Publicity Secretary. A total of one hundred and seventy persons were virtually in attendance.
FIDA Nigeria hosted her first webinar on May 14, 2020. It was themed. “Pandemics and the Protection of Women and Children using the tool of Law: The Covid-19 Experience”
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden, FIDA Nigeria CVP was the host, while Evelyn Membere-Asimiea FIDA Nigeria National Secretary was the moderator of the webinar.
The purpose was to expose how the Laws we have can be used as a veritable tool in safeguarding the rights of women and Children during Pandemics using the Covid-19 as a case study. (looking at it from the angles of the judiciary, the bar, the academic cycle and the civil society organizations)
FIDA Nigeria collaborated with her Partners
Global affairs Canada and ActionAid Nigeria in organizing this webinar.
Key speakers where
1. Hon. Justice Elizabeth Ama Oji
2. Dele Adesina, SAN
3. Professor Ine Nnadi
4. Nkechi Ilochi Omekede
The Target group was Legal practitioners, CSOs especially Feminists groups, Psychosocial therapists and practitioners.
Key take home points and expectations going forward include:
- The need for a consistent drive and push to ensure effective implementation of the plethora of laws that we have – FIDA is to therefore embark on more sensitization of the existence of these laws.
- NBA/FIDA Nigeria to come up with draft laws to push for more proactive ways of ensuring the proper enforcement of the existing laws
- The need for FIDA Nigeria to collaborate more with critical partners to ensure that issues concerning women and children are brought to the fore.
- The need for more funding for CSO’s to effectively intervene and ensure for the effective protection of the vulnerable and PLWD
In conclusion FIDA Nigeria looks forward to more collaborations particularly with the NBA and other CSO’s and NGO’s
There were a total of two hundred and seventy persons virtually in attendance.