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Gender-Based Violence: FIDA Nigeria’s Vice President urges members to swell public awareness

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Vice President of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Nigeria, Rhoda Prevail Tyoden, has encouraged FIDA members in the country to persevere in sensitizing the public on the ills of gender-based violence and the existence of the Act that prohibits gender-based violence.

She asserted that, “There is more work to be done, and the reward of hard work is more work. FIDA has been committed to addressing gender-based violence, harmful traditional practices, forced and early marriages and female genital mutilation by advocating for the adoption of the violence against persons (prohibition) Act 2015.”

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the ‘Plateau State FIDA Week,’ the FIDA VP said the Act is the benchmark legislation on gender-based violence in Nigeria representing indigent clients in court for the infringements of these rights.

She elaborated that, they have also advocated for the adoption of the Child Right’s Act, 2003 in states that are yet to do so and have recorded success in this regards.

Speaking earlier, Plateau State FIDA Chairperson, Mary Izam, stated that there is the need for FIDA to intensify its strategy in their roles in protecting and defending vulnerable women, children as well as halting gender-based violence in the society.

According to her, “This strategy was via a two days’ capacity training, which has been inculcated into the FIDA week, which commenced today in Jos the Plateau state capital.”

The chairperson explained that the training will sharpen their members’ skills for the work ahead of them, adding that they won’t receive the trainings and go to sleep.

“The theme of this FIDA Week, ‘The Role of FIDA in Enhancing the Rights of Indigent Women and Children in our Society,’ is apt, considering the increasing rate of sexual and gender-based violence in our society, which calls for the awakening of FIDA in the dispensation of its mandate,” she noted.

“There is the need to remind ourselves constantly of our roles of being the voice of the vulnerable, as more women have been turned into sex slaves in our societies.

“I refer you to our recent Mangu case (in Mangu local government area of Plateau state) where female children were turned into sex slaves by hoodlums. We are, therefore, ready as FIDANS to wake up to our clarion call and fight for the vulnerable,” she noted.

Mary Izam highlighted that, “During this event, we will have two capacity building trainings to enhance our skills for the work ahead of us; and we won’t receive these trainings and then go home and sleep.

“When we leave FIDA, what are we going to be remembered for? This and more are the punching questions to our minds, and I want all of use to ponder on them,” she said.

This cerebration marks the first FIDA Week in Plateau state since it was established 32 years ago in the state.

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