The wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has affirmed that no other person can fully understand the gender-related problems that women face other than a woman.
The First Lady made the submission, Monday, while delivering her keynote address at the Opening Ceremony of Oyo State FIDA Week 2021, held at the Office of Nigerian Bar Association (The Aare Babalola Bar Centre) Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.
In her words: “The truth of the matter is that no other person can understand better the problems faced by the female gender other than a woman. This is because every day, women continue to face feminized problems such as poverty, lack of access to quality education, gender inequality and gender-based violence including rape, domestic violence and female genital mutilation.
“Like the popular quote by Martin H. Manser (2007) says, “Nobody can fully understand another person’s hardship or suffering” and interpreted to mean-No one knows where the shoe pinches, but he who wears it. This is why FIDA is unique.”
At the Law Week which holds between 8th and 15th October, 2021, the governor’s wife charged women to take the driver’s seat to navigate womenfolk all over the world from the depths of age-long patriarchy to El Dorado, noting that the era is long gone when the women merely pinpoint that women’s issues must be considered for a nation to achieve sustainable development.
According to her, “No doubt, women need men to support them. But if truly we desire sustainable solutions, women must lead in efforts to identify feminized global and local problems, as well as lead in the design and implementation of solutions to those problems identified.
“We have long gone past the era when all we could do was to merely pinpoint that women’s issues must be considered for a nation to achieve sustainable development. We are now in the era when we must allow women to seat on the driver’s seat to navigate womenfolk all over the world from the depths of age-long patriarchy to El Dorado.”
The First Lady who attended the FIDA programme as a Special Guest of Honour, encouraged collaboration among all stakeholders in a bid to deal effectively with gender-based violations.
“Everyone must be on the same page otherwise we would notice that the actions or inactions of one relevant stakeholder may be the only reason a rapist is still walking free in the community or a victim gets his or her life cut short prematurely.
We need the police to play their part in ensuring a smooth justice process. Every State in Nigeria needs a clear strategy for tackling the problem of gender-based violence with key stakeholders fully buying-in on the strategy and taking up roles.” The First Lady said.
Commenting on the Law Week’s theme, ‘Violence of Women and Children; Making the Law Work’, the Chairperson of Oyo State FIDA, Deborah Oluyemisi Collins, emphasised the need for full implementation of the VAPP law.
She said, “For me, our society is yet to fully evolve to embrace the solutions and innovations the Law, VAPP proffers. On daily basis, we are inundated with cases of abuse in our media, our neighborhoods and immediate environment so much so that we are becoming used to them and seemingly accepting them as norms.
“The consequence of this is that the law, when not maximally used to combat and stem these abusive occurrences, remains in the realm of law on paper and not law in action.”
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA),a non-profit, non-political, voluntary association of women called to the practice of law in Nigeria, focuses on the advancement of the rights and welfare of women and children, promoting children’s rights and facilitating community participation in governnace and leadership through workshops, seminars, legal counseling and representation, advocacy and mediation.
FIDA holds an observer status at the United Nations, present in 80 countries of the world with 33 branches in Nigeria.
Present at the FIDA Week Opening Ceremony include the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Hon Justice M.L Abimbola, Professor Mrs Yemisi Bamgbose (SAN), Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Chapter, Mr Yinka Esan, Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, represented by CSP Funke Fawole, Past Presidents of Oyo State FIDA, and members of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
By Debo Akinbami