Category Archives: International Women’s Day

Ki-moon calls for global stance against assault on women’s human rights as UNIC Lagos marks IWD

SpeaksThe 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.Cross section 2

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.

L-R: Oluseyi Soremekun; Deputy Governor Lagos State, Princess Adejoke Adefulire; WODEF Coordinator, Bimbo Oloyede and a Special Adviser to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Ms Akiyode

R-L: Oluseyi Soremekun; Deputy Governor Lagos State, Princess Adejoke Adefulire; WODEF Coordinator, Bimbo Oloyede and a Special Adviser to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Ms Akiyode

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.

Lagos State Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Adefulire addresses the audience

Lagos State Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Adefulire addresses the audience

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.

A drama presentation by student participants

A drama presentation by student participants

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.

UNIC Lagos, WODEF, mark IWD in grand style…one month old baby, 86 years old, in audience

With over 300 participants ranging from one month old baby to 86 years old lady; and comprising of sixteen secondary schools, twenty-three Non-governmental Organisations, nine media houses and four UN Agencies, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, in collaboration with Women Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF) celebrated the International Women’s Day with pageantry.

L-R: Raul Kotikella of British International School and Chisom Frederick of New Era Girls School, Lagos, reading the Secretary General's message on the occasion.

L-R: Raul Kotikella of British International School and Chisom Frederick of New Era Girls School, Lagos, reading the Secretary General’s message on the occasion.


The 2014 IWD event which recorded an unprecedented inspiring presentations on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by eight schools, held the audience spell-bound as the schools offered different creatively refreshing approaches to the MDGs.
Every school was unique in their presentations: from dramatic performance to poetic presentation and screening of a TV documentary on Goal 4 produced and narrated by the students of Vivian Fowler, Lagos.
A cross-section of participants

A cross-section of participants


In addition, another eight schools conducted an environment scan to fish out people in the society who are impacting lives concerning the eight MDGs. From their submission, the ‘Rare Gems’ were selected for recognition.
Exhibiting a grasp of the MDGs and the theme of this year’s IWD, the students communicated their messages with creative flair and elicited an intermittent thunderous applause from the audience.
The IWD event started on a lively note when the message of the Secretary General was jointly read by Raul Kotikella of British International School and Chisom Frederick of New Era Secondary School, Lagos.
Senior Public Information Officer, Envera Selimovic addresses the audience.

Senior Public Information Officer, Envera Selimovic addresses the audience.


Welcoming the audience, the National Coordinator of Women Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF), Mrs Bimbo Oloyede, thanked UNIC Lagos for keeping faith in WODEF as both organisations have been collaborating for the past fourteen years and would continue to promote equality for women and the girl child. She urged the audience to spare a thought for women around the world who are challenged with fear, poverty and hunger; and whose children probably had an uncertain future.
In her remark, the Senior Public Information Officer, Envera Selimovic, urged the students to uphold gender equality and respect women and girl-child explaining that equality for women is progress for all. She added that the future of a society depended on its attitude to issues that pertain to women and the girl-child. The issues, Selimovic said further, included rights of women, girl-child education, and women’s health, among others.
A dramatic performance by a student group

A dramatic performance by a student group


Speaking at the event, the Head of Office, World Health Organisation (WHO) Lagos, Dr Mejebi Phillips urged the audience to help a child to live to adulthood by spreading the words about immunisation. She noted that vaccines save lives, save money and build nations.
Enlightening the audience about the danger of drugs, the Head of Office, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Lagos, Mr Glenn Prichard, urged the students and other participants to avoid drugs and crime like a plague in order not to jeopardise their future.
Speaking on the reality of HIV/AIDS, the State Programme Manager, UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS Office, Lagos, Dr Olubunmi Asa, called on youths to stop indulging in unprotected sex as this could lead to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as well as HIV infections.
Dr Olubunmi Asa of UNAIDS, Lagos office addresses the audience. At the background (L-R): Glen Prichard (UNODC); Dr Mejebi Phillips (WHO); Envera Selimovic (UNIC) and others.

Dr Olubunmi Asa of UNAIDS, Lagos office addresses the audience. At the background (L-R): Glen Prichard (UNODC); Dr Mejebi Phillips (WHO); Envera Selimovic (UNIC) and others.


She urged all participants to voluntarily go for counselling and testing for HIV infections; adding that early detection saves lives.
UNFPA was represented at the event by its Head of Office in Lagos, Dr Omolaso Omosehin.

OBSERVANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2013 – 08 MARCH 2013

United Nations Information Centre Lagos Nigeria, in collaboration with an NGO – Treasureland Health Builders Initiative organized a symposium on Friday 8 March 2013 to mark International Women’s Day.

The event which was held at Christ 1st Entertainment Centre on Ikorodu Road in Lagos was attended by over one hundred (100) participants including students and their teachers from five (5) secondary schools, National Youth Service Corp members, Youth NGOs, Local Government officials, the Local Chief of the area and representatives from State Police Command and the media. UNIC Lagos Officer-in-Charge - Ms. Olajumoke Araba reading the Secretary-General's message

The Project Director of Treasureland Health Builders Initiative – Mrs. Ifesinachi Sam-Emuwa gave the welcome address while the Secretary-General’s message was read by the Officer in Charge of the United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, Ms. Olajumoke Araba.

The video of “One Woman” song was screened followed by that of the Secretary-General’s campaign – “A promise is a promise”.
A representative of an NGO – ‘Legal Research’ gave a brief speech on how women and girls could avoid violence against them and the action to be taken if they become victims.
The Representative of the Nigerian Police Force Area ‘N’ Ikorodu also gave a speech on the rights of women and girls and actions that the Police Force takes when cases of violence against women and girls are reported.

There was a playlet by a school directed by a Youth Corp member and a song by a female Youth Corp member all on the theme of the international Day.

The highlight of the observance was a discussion session by six youths (three males and three females). The discussants, their views and resolution are enumerated as follows:

The discussants believe that the safety of women and girls is the safety of the general populace. While living safe and free from violence is everyone’s right, reducing violence becomes the responsibility of every one.

Summary of issues dealt with during the discussion
– Physical Violence (Wife battering, rape, sexual assault etc.)
– Women are forced to accept their husband’s religious beliefs
– Some women violate their fellow women and girls
– Lack of empowerment for women and girls
– Regarding women as second class citizens
– Sexual assault from male teachers and lecturers against women and girls in schools
– Some fathers rape their female children

RESOLUTION
– There is need for public enlightenment on issues of eliminating violence against women and girls.
– There must be police protection for the informant that reports those violating the rights of women and girls.
– The media should promote educative programmes rather than programmes that depict violence.
– All individuals should act as watchdog to their neighbours
– Women and girls should seek information through reading
– Men should support women rather than abuse them.
– Parents should be friends to their children especially the girl child, so that she will be free to relate issues.
– Girls need to be smart
– There should be instant judgment for violators of women’s right

Way forward.
 Information dissemination.
 Public enlightenment.
 Education
 Empowerment

United Nations publications were distributed to the participants.