In commemoration of the 16 day of Activism Against Gender Based Violence by the United Nations, the Empower my World foundation (EMWF) in conjunction with the Rights Enforcement And Public Law Centre (REPLACE) and Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative (ECOWA) has held a sensitization programme to educate market traders on access to justice and gender based violence.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The programme which was held at Elemoro Rayol Market Bogije, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos had in attendance the market executives members and other traders is aimed at educating participants on legal clinic on access to justice for women in the sector post COVID19 and for the need to speak up.
Participants in the programme shared their experience on issues concerning gender based violence and were advised on the channels to use whenever they are faced with challenges that has to do with gender based violence and how to access justice.
Speaking at the programme, the Executive Director of Empower my World foundation (EMWF), Nwanda Oluka said that the essence of the programme is to sensitize women and men on what Gender based violence is about and how to access justice when they are being abused.
“The program was set up to mark the 16 days of activism against gender based violence, one of our focal points of our meeting here is to be able to educate and sensitize women on what gender based violence means and access to justice.
How will they be access justice when the have infringement on their rights, so it’s a legal clinic. We look at the cases and find a way to get them justice when abused.
I believe the capacity of the participants have been built, they will go back to their various communities with the new hope spreading the message.” Oluka said.
Also in her statement, Felicitas Aigboegun Brai from the Rights Enforcement And Public Law Centre (REPLACE) said the programme is to make people understand how to access the courts and get justice when abused.
“This is a form of community awareness, specifically on access to justice for women in the informal sector, from 15th of November to 10th of December, there’s 16days of activism that the United Nations celebrate, this year we are focused on women in the informal sector, we want to build up their capacity to know about their right and access to justice.
We are partnering with the programme to see that people who earn little in Nigeria, who may not be able to understand how to access the courts or get lawyers can also get access to just when their rights is abused.
That’s why we have the toll free number that they can call to report any issues concerning gender based violence”. She said.
Toll free Number: 080 300 300 300
The Deputy Executive Director of Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative (ECOWA), Kate Duru said that the importance of the programme is to educated people on women’s right as many women are facing different forms of abuses.
“During the 16 days of activism against gender based violence we came up with programmes to talk about the issues of domestic violence and access to justice.
We are here to talk about the issues and educate them on women’s right, when we started the people were a bit skeptical in opening up because they didn’t understand why we are holding the programme until they started asking questions of what was their benefits. Looking at the current situation in the country with the EndSARS and victimization of people who spoke up for their rights. We educated them on how their rights can be protected because violence against women is something that cuts across.
Most of them have issues of domestic violence and not know where to run to because they don’t understand that there are avenues in which they can follow to handle the matter perfectly.
We are here today to educate them on what constitutes their rights so that have access to information and justice because information is power”.
We are more interested in capacity building, as we teach them today, they are expecting to teach others and continue the chain of information”. Duru said.
In gratitude the Mrs Elemoro Oduwule, Iyaloja Vice, said that the programme is good as it has taught her to speak out.
“ The programme is good because is have opened our eyes to what we never knew, most times we see some issues of violence without knowing who to tell or report to, so we just keep quiet.
Now they have given us a toll number to call in case of any emergency on violence and I’m really happy.
My advice to people especially when suffering from domestic violence is to speak up and also call the number” She said.