IWD: FIDA organises one-day media parley, demands improvement on women’s access to justice

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Story from Sa’adatu MAINA, Damaturu

As part of activities to commemorate international women’s day, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Yobe state branch with support of Managing Conflict in Nigeria group has organised a one-day media parley on addressing disparities in access to justice for women and girls in Yobe state.

Speaking during the event at NUJ press centre in Damaturu, the Chairperson of the organisation Barr. Hannatu Faruwa Kauri, said the theme for this year is “Gender Equality today for a Sustainable Tomorrow Break Bias”.

She said international women’s day must be celebrated as it is a day to recognise women’s achievements and challenges in the world.

According to her, FIDA is at the forefront of advocacy for legislatures to address the gender-based violence (GBV) issues for justice.

She urged the media organisations to always partner with the FIDA as their contribution is vital in addressing challenges bedevilling the women and girls in society.

Also speaking, Barrister Maryam Bamai Idriss said many more cases of GBV go unreported, pointing out the amendment of section 283 of the penal code of Yobe State to increase the punishment of rape to 25 years imprisonment in case of an adult and life imprisonment for minors is a welcome development as the state has recorded recently in two cases.

She said despite the training of prosecutors and investigators gender-related cases continue unabated adding that women face multiple challenges to access to justice and in practice the social, economic, evidential and procedural obstacles allowed the perpetrators to walk free and the survivor to go unrepaired.

According to her, major challenges of women’s access to justice include, deficiency in the legislatures as it fails to criminalise gender crimes such as rapes and other gender-based violence, the inability of law officers to prosecute gender-based crimes as a result of ineffective and incomplete investigation by the authorities among others.

At the event, papers were presented by Barrister MB Yusuf, Barrister Babayo Ngada Abdullahi and Barrister A’isha Haruna Godowoli.

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