December 19, 2021

Gender justice, game-changer for Nigeria — CCN President

Gender justice

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

President of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Most Rev. Dr Benebo Fubara-Manuel, says pursuing gender justice for women will be a game-changer in addressing the nation’s challenges.

Fubara-Manuel said this in Abuja yesterday while speaking at a symposium on human rights advocacy for women and girls, organised by the Women Wing of the Council of Nigeria.

He said in spite of laws that guarantee the legal and human rights of all citizens, many Nigerian women still suffer various forms of injustice in society on the basis of their gender.

“Many women and girls struggle to survive in spite of their enormous legal and human rights. The systems of the world that have attempted to affirm their rights have not affirmed them fairly or even sufficiently.

“Women are still struggling to be educated in many places. They are still being abused by their parents and uncles, and their pastors are telling them not to wash their dirty linen in public.

“Those who managed to cry out for help are being named unpatriotic or unsupportive of their families.

“To say ‘no’ to all this is to pursue justice, and we would truly pursue justice when we affirm our own culpability in injustice. When we tell ourselves that we are part of the problem, then we are starting in the right place,’’ he said.

He, however, solicited the support of government and other stakeholders in promoting equal opportunity for women to drive national development, saying: “We cannot pursue justice alone. We need others to make it worthwhile. This is why we must always collaborate in unity towards this goal.”

Earlier, the National President Women Wing of Christian Council of Nigeria, Dr Mrs Juliana Uzoaku, faulted the vote by the Senate shooting down the Gender Equality Bill last Wednesday.

According to her, the decision of the Senate was an assault on the collective rights of Nigerian women.

She said, “When you step down a Bill, it means that it is of less relevance to you. The Senate has shown us that issue of gender justice is not a priority even when we see rape and violence being perpetrated against women, their rights being trampled upon, widowhood practices, child and forced marriages and many other gender injustices increasing on a daily basis.”

Speaking also, Ms Donna Bollinger, the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Staff to the United Nations, stressed the need to amplify the voices of women and girls, especially those who have suffered violence at the hands of extremists and bandits as a way to attract global attention to their plight.

Vanguard News Nigeria