A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) BAOBAB, has called on government to ensure effective implementation of women rights and protect the lives of the vulnerable and marginalised.
The Executive Director, Baobab for women’s Human Rights, Bunmi Dipo-Salami, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja, in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023, with theme DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.
The event which is marked every March 8 is intended to advance the cause of women all over the world.
Dipo-Salami lamented that inspite of the advocacy and education on gender equality, women representation is still low, adding,actions need to be taken towards making the vision of a gender equal world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.
She said, “Despite several campaigns against gender inequality, women around the world still battle discrimination and inequality. Women’s sexual and reproductive health, which is related to multiple human rights, including the right to life, the right to be free from torture, the right to health, the right to privacy, the right to education and so forth continues to be undermined.
“As we celebrate the International Women’s Day, BAOBAB urges the Nigerian government to take its responsibility of protecting the lives of vulnerable and marginalized groups, particularly women more seriously.
Speaking on the theme of technology and innovation, the Executive Director said, the digital age presents an unprecedented opportunity as the increasing number and use of mobile phones and internet connectivity have facilitated access to support spaces for survivors of gender-based violence, improved access to quality healthcare, reproductive health information and services.
According to Dipo-Salami, “studies have shown that technology has the potential for opening new doors for the global empowerment of women and girls through gender-responsive digital learning, tech-facilitated sexual and reproductive healthcare, and addressing the pervasive threat of online gender-based violence, an evolving challenge which oftentimes lacks legal recourse.
“It must be noted, however, that although women’s contribution to the digital world cannot be overemphasized, their accomplishments have not been met with commensurate appreciation.
“One way of accelerating this is by domesticating and implementing regional and international laws that protect and promote women’s rights, especially the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol), which has been adjudged one of the world’s most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments.
“It is also critical to create a digital future in which all members of the Nigerian society enjoy equal rights to safety, dignity and freedom, protect women and girls from online gender-based violence, and close the existing digital gender divide.
“We urge non-state actors to continue to double efforts to discuss strategies, lessons, successes, and challenges to stimulate actions for the protection and promotion of women’s rights through digital platforms.