Government at all levels should put in place structures that would ensure the effective implementation of women’s rights, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has said.
The association’s call is in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020.
The country Vice President/National President, FIDA Nigeria, Rhoda Tyoden, made the call in a statement on Sunday.
The event which is marked every March 8 is intended to advance the cause of women all over the world.
This year’s theme of the IWD is “An equal world is an enabled world.” while the global campaign slogan is: #EachforEqual.
In the statement, Mrs Tyoden commended government’s effort towards protecting the rights of women in Nigeria, but however added that more needed to be done.
“Despite great strides made towards attaining gender equality, there is ample evidence to show that much more needs to still be done in the aspect of living free from violence and discrimination, education, to own property, vote, and to earn a fair wage and enjoy political appointments,” she said.
She said that despite the passage of laws such as Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA) and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 (VAPP), the country still experience challenges in implementing the laws, creating enabling structures to ensure the effective implementation of women’s rights.
Mrs Tyoden noted that the theme for this year is apt as it aligns with the UN Women’s new multi-generational campaign ‘Generation Equality’.
She said that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society.
The female lawyer further added that Nigeria can only achieve such prosperous society when both men and women enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society.
“Nigerian women must be allowed to enjoy greater economic empowerment and participation; more opportunities in leadership positions and decision-making, better opportunities for a girl child education, more women in political appointments, and women allowed to inherit and own property to mention a few.
“It is also key that the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are valued, favoured and allowed to grow and flourish. Women can be anything they so desire without limitation and should not be stifled by stereotyping and old labour laws that are limiting and discriminatory against women,” she added.
According to Mrs Tyoden, FIDA will continue to engage, discuss, collaborate and review ways of further promoting gender equality in the country while setting new standards on practical ways for greater forward growth.
The association condemned the recent attacks on the character and invasion of privacy of a Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili.
They also criticized the human rights violations and discrimination against Justice Akon Ikpeme by her non-appointment as the substantive Chief judge of Cross River State.
“These are successful women who have reached the pinnacle of their careers yet their basic rights are still denied or infringed upon,” Mrs Tyoden said.
FIDA, therefore, called for full implementation of the newly enacted laws which promote gender parity and the putting in place of facilities, machinery and structures enabling the implementation of the laws amongst others.