Members of the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists, Nigeria (NRHJN) foremost media advocates are mourning the passage of the board member, Dr. Hauwa Shekarau which occurred on Wednesday.
Hauwa Shekarau was described in a statement issued by the President, Yinka Shokunbi, and National Secretary, Sekinah Lawal as “an amazon of diverse parts”.
Hauwa Shekarau according to the statement, “was one of the pillars at Ipas, Nigeria as Policy Advisor, when the Network was founded in 2010”.
The love Hauwa Shekarau had for the media group was responsible for the commitment she gave as the Country Director of Ipas, Nigeria, which led to the support for the registration of the media group at the Corpore Affairs Commission (CAC).
“The love Shekarau had for the Network right from its inception was so deep that, Hauwa committed her resources as well as commissioned a Legal Officer from her Chambers to ensure the Network got registered in record time”.
Her immeasurable human resource was equally expended as she continued to support the Network with legal and human resources until her last moments.
“Dr. Shekarau is an amazon and inspiration to many younger women as she offered consultations probono through her Women, Law, and Development Initiative”.
The Network extolling the virtues of the first female chairperson of the Unity Bar, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Abuja noted that Hauwa stood for an unbroken human rights record as an activist who championed reproductive health and rights of sexually abused women. through various capacity-building programmes.
“As a media advocacy group on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Hauwa Shekarau did a lot to enhance training capabilities and opportunities for members both locally and at international fora.
“An Amazon and advocate of gender-based violence, Hauwa offered her legal expertise to canvass and mobilise support for the passage of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP)”, noted the media group.
The statement further reads: “As a Policy Advisor and later, Country Director, Ipas, Nigeria, the passion with which she took the campaign on sexual assaults of the abducted Chibok Girls, the Gender Equity Bill amongst others in the Feminine Group was effectual”.
According to the Network’s leaders, “It was natural to pick Hauwa alongside erstwhile Transmission Monitoring Group (TMG) Chair, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi and chair Technical Working Group, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, Dr Ejike Oji as the Board of Trustees members of the Network as the trio had in common, the affinity for gender equity and equality”.
The Journalists recalled that one of the achievements of Late Shekarau was her strong advocacy for Safe space for medical termination of unwanted pregnancy occasioned by brutal sexual assaults, rape, incest, gender-based violence among others was some of the passionate displays of our dear Hauwa.”
As the first female chairperson of the Unity Bar, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Abuja, Hauwa Shekarau would be sorely missed. Her contributions also as a former President, FIDA, is immeasurable.
Similarly, her contributions to her Southern Kaduna community and as a political contestant in 2019 elections Hauwa touched so many lives.