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IWD 2022: Kidnap, rape, abuse, marginalisation of women disheartening, says group

*Echoes Of Women In Africa Initiatives says the 2022 International Women’s Day will help to raise awareness of women’s equality, accelerate gender parity and funds for women-focused organisations in Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the global community marks the 2022 International Women’s Day Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Echoes Of Women In Africa Intiatives (ECOWA), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has said it is ‘disheartened’ by events that continue to endanger the lives and livelihood of Nigerian women and girls.

ConsumerConnect reports ECOWA, in its message to the National Assembly (NASS), in Abuja, FCT, at the commemoration of 2022 International Women’s Day Tuesday said that the activities of state and non-state actors had resulted in women being kidnapped, raped, abused, violate, killed, and marginalised in the country.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is: “Together We All Break The Bias”.

The objective NGO whose objective is to promote peace and security for African women and girls through social justice education, research/policy advocacy, partnership and support services.

Louisa Eikhomun-Agbonkhese, Founder, Echoes of Women in Africa Initiatives, in a statement to mark the 2022 event, ECOWA said that forceful abduction of women and girls, murder of women, rape of women, political bias against women in Nigeria, and the recent rejection of Gender Bills at the National Assembly have all portrayed the female gender as lesser humans.

Eikhomun-Agbonkhese also stated: “On the 1st of March 2022, Nigerian Women Woke up to a huge shock by the Nigerian Senate whose members majorly voted NAY to five gender bills out of 68 Bills

“Bill on 35% on affirmative action for women in appointive positions (commissioners and ministers); Bill the for citizenship for foreign husbands of Nigerian Women; Bill for indigeneship for women married to men from other states; Bill on 111 reserved seats for women; and Bill for 20% ministerial and commissioner positions for women were all thrown out.”

Despite this development, the ECOWA Founder said the IWD would help raise the “awareness of women’s equality, accelerating gender parity and fund-raising for women focused organisations.”

However, in order to turn the situation around, ECOWA noted that it is adopting a strategy of involving men in the fight to end violence against women. It is also working to ensure that harmful cultures are eradicated.

The group further said: “If existing laws are implemented to protect women and girls, e.g., (VAPP Law) and  new  bills  signed into law. If gender is mainstreamed into development projects and programmes.

“If there is behavioural change on the value of the girl child in the society by parents, family, schools, institutions of worship and the government.”

The group used the opportunity of the IWD commemoration to recognise the efforts of male media personalities who have used their medium to promote the peace and security of women through their work over years.

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