National Women Dialogue Demand Safe Nigeria

Nigerian women are breaking the silence of decades and demanding a safe country as they converge in Abuja for The National Women Dialogue tagged #Womanifesto.

Convened by coalition of Feminists and Women Rights Activists, the 3-day National Women Dialogue according to Team Convener, Dr Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi, welcoming participants noted, “became necessary as a result of recent developments in the country”.

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According to Akiyode-Afolabi, Nigerian women had previously in 2005, developed a Charter called 10-point agenda, to canvass for various needs at every available fora but a shift from this approach became necessary due to new happenings from 2018.

Erelu Fayemi with Hauwa Shekarau and other Feminists

“We realised that yes, we have made progress but yet, we were not close in anyway to where we are supposed to be. The system was not okay for us and there was a need for us to put our voices together to make it stronger to be able to engage in an event as it is today.

” There was a dire need for us to review our 2005 demands and come up with stronger demands”, she pointed out.

Abiola explained that the Feminists and women rights activists have realised the need to close gaps and build stronger one voice in a unified movement “otherwise we won’t be able to address our issues.”

The National Dialogue she noted will touch six critical areas of violence against women and girls, women in peace and security. sexual reproductive health and rights as well as touch on issues of women in economy amongst other critical areas of Political lives.

Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi and Hauwa Shekarau

Also addressing the gathering in his opening key remark, First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi described the Nigeria the women want as “a safe place everyone else would like to live in”.

The Erelu in a strong laden voice reeled out what bond the Nigerian women share in common saying:

“we are sick and tired of being sick”

According to Mrs. Fayemi:

We are tired of saying the same thing over and over again
We are tired of nursing our raped and battered children back to health
We are tired of mourning our sisters beaten to death by their spouses
We are tired of searching for our children who have been snatched away from our arms and have not returned
We are tired of singing, dancing and clapping for political leaders only to end up
with nothing to show for it
We are tired of not being able to go to our farms for fear of being raped
We are tired of being tortured and dispossessed when our husbands die
We are tired of watching our sisters die while giving birth
We are tired of living in such poverty and desperation that we resort to the only tools we have to survive
We are tired of being harassed, intimidated and even burnt alive because we dared to raise our voices
We are tired of sex for grades, sex for jobs, sex for food, sex for appointments
We are tired of seeing the driver, gateman, Teacher, Policeman, Politician, Bank
Manager, University Lecturer, Pastor, Imam, Traditional ruler all go scot free
when they rape us or our children
In the famous words of the civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hammer, we are sick
and tired of being sick and tired.

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