In celebration of the 2020 International Women’s Day

In celebration of the 2020 International Women’s Day, Ladies Connect Initiative organized an online awareness which held on the March 8th being the International Day of Women on Women Rights awareness with theme; “Realizing women’s rights for an Enabled World’ . We had four Legal Practitioners on the platform to sensitize participants on women rights.⁣

The first speaker: Aladejana Taiwo is a legal practitioner, and a member of International Federation of Women Lawyers, she volunteers as a teacher in a Summer camp for displaced children. She is also a member of Potentials House, an organization that provides books for indigent children. She belongs to the Young Leaders Rights &Patriotic Initiative which is a political tink-tank group. She is passionate about children and women’s rights. Taiwo addressed the participants on social rights. In her words ’Talking about social rights is akin to talking about the existence of mankind. Man/Woman are created as social animal, hence there are rights and mechanism that needs to be in place for a peaceful co-existence. In our push for the enforcement of our social rights, we need chapter 2 of our constitution to be justiciable. The government needs to do more and be responsive’.⁣

The second speaker, Christian Obinna Chukwu is a well seasoned Legal Practitioner with specialization in Commercial and Corporate Law. He has served in various leadership positions at the university and at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja. He also addressed the participants on Social Rights. He started by saying the rights and duties of women in Nigeria have been subjected to the wishes and aspirations of the men. Notwithstanding the several provisions and protections of women’s rights under Nigerian laws, there have been abuses and the legal rights of women in Nigeria are still been violated, to arrest the situation, it is advocated that there should be massive education and re-orientation of the women towards enlightening them on their social rights under the relevant laws. He made reference to Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Labour Act.⁣

Our third speaker, Adepitan Oluwatosin is a legal practioner practicing at Lagos. She is interested in International Humanitarian Law (Law of Wars). She is mighty in mind and strength. She is a gifted speaker and a flawless writer. She addressed us on Political Rights. According to her, Women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy. She made reference to section 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It facilitates women’s direct engagement in public decision making accountability to women. She is also of the opinion that low or non-participation of women has been ingrained in our consciousness from the colonial era. It has become the norm to relegate women to the background in politics of the nation which has also shown that intimidation of women aspirants have forced them to step down. Women needs to take active role and engagement in politics.⁣

The last speaker, Josephine F. Otun is a brilliant Legal Practitioner. She is a Rights Advocate, and an associate at Providence Law Office, Kwara state. She addressed us on Reproductive rights. She stated that Nigeria ranks among countries with the highest rate of maternity mortality in spite of the universal recognition of health rights as human rights. Josephine stated that Nigeria is yet to have a specific legislation on reproductive rights and right to health despite the fact that right to life is only meaningful to a healthy person .Chapter IV of the 1999 constitution which provides for fundamental rights that include right to life, right to family life and the CEDAW which have reproductive rights embedded in it such that women have equal rights to decide no and spacing of their children, access to sex education etc. One of the solutions is to recognise reproductive rights as human rights as they are grounded in range of fundamental human rights and it will equally be a powerful tool in the fight to save women from a lot of health hazards.⁣

At the end of the session, participants asked questions on grey area. We are glad we are touching and imparting lives positively. We believe realizing women rights a fundamental prerequisite for genuine democracy and development of our country.


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