Today, as we celebrate the International Women’s day all over the world, the message i am sending to the world is that women should be appreciated not abused. Gender equality and women’s empowerment is a human right which must be respected by all.
As a young man, reflecting on womanhood on this international women’s day , I realized that from the early stage of creation women have been there for us men. They gave us life by giving birth to us, they nurture us, educate us and support us to reach our potentials.
Why then should we reward them with violence, why should we continue to sexually harass them, rape and unleash terror on them? Women don’t deserve violence rather they deserve love and affection. I imagined how the world will look like without the women? Lonely, boring and uninteresting.
The ideas of cooking, washing, helping, caring and love was made profound by women. Meaning that, men rely on women in at least 70% of their daily activities. We can do without pets, assets, money and properties, but women the most significant creation on earth, we cannot do without.
Today as we celebrate the International Women’s Day worldwide, Men in Nigeria should stop the violence and abuse (emotional, sexual and psychological) against women and girls. Men must STOP destroying the future of our female leaders through sexual harassments. The future of generations of women and girls has been destroyed by men in various societies through rape and other forms of violence.
Imagine a 50 years old married man violating a girl of 5years years! There is need to raise awareness about the menace of violence against women and girls particularly among men and boys. Men and boys must learn to appreciate and respect women and girls and support them to live a safe and violence free life.
I never cease to wander and fathom why men and boys should destroy the women who cared for them, who loved them and are always there for them. When we are depressed women are there to console us. When we are sad they make us happy and above all satisfy our sexual emotion. After all, all men and boys have mothers, sisters and nieces. Men are only strong and successful through the support of women around them.
On this international women’s day i extol the virtues of women. They are bold, brave and hard-working. They play various vital roles on earth till their last breath in taking care of family or household and spending their valuable time teaching and taking care of the children and the environment.
Women are our mothers they need to be cared for and cherished. I celebrate women and girls today; I commit to support gender equality and women’s empowerment by ensuring that I do not violate any girl or woman no matter the situation and circumstances. I will raise awareness among men and boys to change violent behaviours towards women and girls and thus putting an end to violence against women and girls in Nigeria.
I call on men and boys to support and work with me to make Nigeria a haven for women. Happy international women’s day to my mothers, sisters, aunties and nieces. God bless women and girls!
Program assistant media and youth development
Centre for 21st Century Issues, Nigeria
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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2013 MESSAGE OF UN WOMEN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MICHELLE BACHELET
Remarks of Michelle Bachelet United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women at the International Women’s Day Commemorative Event at the United Nations.8 March 2013.
During the past 20 years, we have witnessed critical gains in ensuring that women enjoy the same human rights as men, that women are treated equally.
We have moved forward with the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW, the 1994 Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the ICPD+5 Key Actions for further implementation.
We have moved forward with the Platform for Action of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the Security Council’s landmark resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, its subsequent resolutions and all international human rights conventions.
My message today is: We cannot move backwards, we must keep moving forward. It is what we owe to millions of women fighting for their rights around the world.
We find ourselves at a tipping point in history.
Never before have we witnessed such global momentum and mobilization by men and women, girls and boys, demanding an end to violence against women and girls.
Never before have we witnessed such open, widespread public outrage and calls for change and action.
Never before have we had the instant and global outreach that new technologies afford—to record in mere seconds, and communicate in real time, the atrocities and horrors of violence committed against women and girls.
Violence against women is pervasive and knows no borders. It does not discriminate according to nationality, ethnicity, social class, culture or religion.
This is why women, men and young people have raised their voices in every region to say one thing: enough is enough.
People demand an immediate end to impunity. They insist on the protection of the rights of women and girls to live in dignity, free of violence and discrimination.
And let me say this: There can be no peace, no progress, no equality without women’s full and equal rights and participation. And there can be no gender equality without women’s realization. Women’s realization of their full reproductive rights, their right to sexual and reproductive health, are essential to the empowerment of women and to gender equality.
As social transformations in attitudes, beliefs, and values are happening, we must keep pace with the aspirations of people everywhere in the world. Their hope, our hope is to see gender equality become reality in this, our 21st century.
If we act with courage, conviction and commitment, we can change violence against women from being the most pervasive violation of human rights to being a rare occurrence that is considered unacceptable and no longer tolerated.
Each one of us has responsibility and duty to act. But there is a special duty incumbent on the international community and the Member States of the United Nations to show that we not only listen but support what people now demand.
Today I am pleased to announce that just as public awareness and outrage are rising, so too is the commitment by governments to action to end this violence.
Last November, UN Women invited Governments to announce new national action, and the COMMIT initiative was born.
Today on International Women’s Day, I am pleased to announce that 50 governments and the European Commission have committed to take concrete action to end violence against girls and women.
Many of them are here today and I salute them. I invite you to join me in expressing appreciation of their determination to act.
From Argentina to Australia, Brazil to Colombia and Denmark, Germany to Jamaica, Liberia to Thailand, from Slovakia to the Republic of Korea, countries have committed to take action. We just heard good news from the United States of America, where the Violence against Women Act was signed by President Obama, and from here to all regions of the world, governments have pledged actions to end violence against women and girls, and guarantee access to critical services and justice. Together we must keep the promise so women and girls can, one day, in this century, live free of fear and violence.
UN Women applauds these commitments. But we must do even more.
Right now, we are meeting at the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. We have the historic opportunity to make strong commitments, to move forward to prevent and end these widespread human rights violations.
The 57th Commission on the Status of Women must uphold, and should advance, the full human rights of women. This is what women and girls all over the world expect from us!
We truly have to go the extra mile.
Today on International Women’s Day and every day, let us individually and collectively pledge to do all we can to promote and protect women’s rights so that every girl and women can live free of violence and discrimination.
Today on International Women’s Day and every day, let us go forward with courage, conviction and commitment.
On the occasion of the celebration of the 2013 International Women’s Day (IWD) The Centre for 21st Century Issue s(C21st), West African Network For Peace building Nigeria (WANEP) and Lagos state Gender Advocacy Team (LASGAT) celebrate with all Nigerian women and indeed all women all over the world.
With the theme “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” we collectively use this as a clarion call to all stakeholders to recommit and redouble efforts to stop violence being experienced by women and girls both in the private, public and in conflict situations.
It is of grave concern that around the world over 70% of women experience violence in their life time. The case of Nigerian women and girls is worse off. The Nigerian woman and girl child experience all forms of violence on a daily bases which has resulted into the following realities;
• One in five women has experienced some form of physical violence. 28% of women have experienced physical violence by age 15.
• One in three Nigerian women and girls aged 15-24 have been the victims of Violence.
• Up to a third of women in Nigeria have been subjected to some form of violence, including battering and verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, marital rape, sexual exploitation, or harassment within the home.
• Most of the physical, sexual and psychological violence experienced by women in Nigeria is reported to be at the hands of family members, especially husbands, partners and fathers. At least 45% of violence against women are perpetrated by their current husbands or parents.
• Over 45% of women who ever experience physical or sexual violence did not seek help from any source or tell anyone about it.
• Women and girls suffer double jeopardy in conflict situations.
• Violence against women and girls is a key driver of HIV Epidemic and other sexually transmitted diseases due to forced sex and inability to negotiate safe sex.
These realities are continually nurtured by the existence of some social cultural norms which condones and encourages violence, insufficient legal mechanisms to prosecute and punish offenders and unwillingness of victims to report cases of violation or seek for help.
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a serious infraction against the rights of women and girls. It is a wicked act which breeds conflict and destroy peace in the home and in the society. Violence impedes the ability of women and girls to reach their potentials in life and ultimately limit their life chances and optimal development
C21st, WANEP and LASGAT on the occasion of the IWD 2013 herby calls on
Nigerian Government to;
• Declare zero tolerance to VAWG in order to prevent and end all forms of VAWG anywhere including conflict situations.
• Ensure that all the states in Nigeria enact and effectively enforce the Domestic Violence protection and Prohibition Law
• Allocate Adequate funds to end VAWG in public and private spheres
• Work with Civil society organizations and all relevant stakeholders to provide services and support to all women and girls survivor of violence.
• Train all law enforcement agents to handle cases of violence against women and girls in such a way to ensure the protection of their rights
• Raise awareness on VAWG and inspire action to change violent behaviors in our community.
• Ensure that women are involved the response to conflict and peace processes at all levels.
We call on men to shun all acts of violence against women and girls and work with women and all stakeholders to end violence against their mothers, wives, sisters daughters and nieces.
We empathize with all women and girls victims of violence, we salute their resilience and courage in the face of violence. We also remember and celebrate all those who stand on the side of women and girls to advocate and continue to agitate against all forms of violence in our society. We encourage Nigerian women and girls to end the culture of silence and speak out against violence.
The fight to end VAWG is our collective responsibility. Together we can put a stop to VAWG.
Happy international women’s Day
Ms Titilope Akosa – Centre for 21st Century Issues
Bridget Osakwe – West African Network for Peace building (WANEP), Nigeria
Dr Keziah Awosika – Lagos state Gender Advocacy Team (LASGAT)