The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has called for a clear global stance against incessant assault on women’s human rights. ‘The international community needs to translate its outrage into meaningful action, including humanitarian aid, psycho-social services, support for livelihoods, and efforts to bring perpetrators to justice,’ he continued.
The Secretary General made this call in his message on the occasion of the 2015 International Women’s Day (IWD) commemoration organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos in collaboration with Women Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Lagos.
Ki-moon noted further in his message presented by the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, that with women and girls often the first targets of attack, their rights must be at the centre of strategy to address this growing challenge. ‘Empowered women and girls are the best hope for sustainable development following conflict,’ he added.
In his message on the occasion, the Executive Director of UNFPA, Prof Babatunde Oshotimehim, acknowledged that ‘when a woman can exercise her reproductive rights, she is better able to enjoy other freedoms and opportunities—from education to employment to full participation.’ He explained further in the message delivered by Dr Amaka Aruna, a Programme Officer at UNFPA Lagos that UNFPA would continue to provide strong support for the rights of women and girls, gender equality and universal sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Princess Adejoke Adefulire-Orelope enjoined the audience made up of mainly female secondary school students, to remain focus on their vision and to resist any attempt by anybody to kill their vision. She charged the audience to always strive for excellence and be committed to serving their communities and the nation.
In her remarks, the Coordinator of WODEF, Mrs Bimbo Oloyede noted that women had played a vital role as agents of development. From food security to the boardroom and from the theatre to infrastructure, women are making it happen and contributing their quota towards socio-economic development, gender equality, women’s empowerment, women’s right and eradication of poverty.
The observance was attended by over 400 people including students and teachers from sixteen secondary schools in Lagos state; the media and the civil society.