Working Group of Eight on Violence Against Women (WG8 on VAW) marks International Women’s Day with the theme: “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.” The working Group of Eight on Violence Against Women marks international women’s day by calling on the government to address all forms of gender based violence. The International women’s Day is usually celebrated around the world on the 8th of March to honour and celebrate the achievements of women ranging from small random informal achievements to large highly recognized achievements.
Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Women’s groups, CSOs, charities, educational institutions, corporations and the media celebrate the day.
Till date, the main concern of women‘s human rights defenders and activists in Nigeria and elsewhere is the prevalence of gender based violence with the number of victims rising by the day. In fact the theme for this year’s 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”.
The WG8 on VAW, which comprises Eight Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Lagos State committed to addressing various forms of Gender Based Violence, is using the platform of this year’s IWD theme to further raise respective stakeholders’ consciousness on the need to place gender based violence on the front burner of the gender agenda.
In view of this, the WG8 on VAW calls on the Lagos State government at all levels particularly justice sector institutions law makers and law enforcements Agents to step up action towards addressing the scourge of gender based violence in Lagos State and take all necessary steps to ensure the implementation of the domestic violence law of Lagos State.
WG8 on VAW also call the government to ensure the domestication and implementation of all Human rights treaties especially the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (i.e. AU Women Protocol). In this regard, we call on the National Assembly and the Presidency to ensure the passage into law of the Violence Against Persons bill currently before the National Assembly. We also call on all the states governments to support the passage and implementation of gender based laws that seek to protect women from harmful practices, violence, discrimination and injustice.
The WG8 on VAW recently launched a broad set of guidelines for responding to cases of violence against women in Lagos State and subsequently organized a range of anti-gender based violence awareness campaign activities to mark the 2012 “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.”
The group is supported by the Justice for All (J4A) programme of the UK Department of International Development. J4A works in collaboration with the Nigerian Government to promote access to justice, safety and security for all Nigerians.
WG8 on VAW comprises:
• Alliances For Africa (AFA)
• Baobab for Women Human Rights ( BAOBAB)
• Legal Defense and Assistance Project (LEDAP)
• Partnership For Justice (PJ)
• Project Alert on Violence Against Women ( Project Alert)
• West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP)
• Women’s Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON)
• Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP)
For: WG8 on VAW
Programme Officer (PJ)