NGO Seeks Free Access to Justice for Women, Girls

Ifeoma Nwovu FRCN

The President of Women, Law and Development Initiative, WOLDI Africa, Dr. Hauwa Shekarau, has advocated access to justice for women and girls with a view to promoting sustainable development and gender equality in the country.

Dr. Shekarau stated this during a Stakeholders consultative meeting on the establishment of Special Courts for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV, in Abuja.

Dr. Shekarau who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch, said the meeting was intended to provide an opportunity to push for advocacy strategies to draw attention to the major challenges facing access to justice for the ordinary Nigerian women, especially the SGBV.

“Under the prevailing circumstances, WOLDI continues to carry out pro-bono legal services, advocacy among key stakeholders, and sensitization among target groups for the integration of the sustainable development goal target which continues to promote the rule of law and ensure equal access to justice for all.”

In a remark, Mr. Mohammed Baba-Doko, who represented the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, said the Ministry, collaborated with relevant agencies to fast track cases of rape and gender-based violence as well as trained judges on the enforcement of Child Rights act.

In his address, the Acting Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, identified lack of coordination among key stakeholders and discriminatory culture as some of the factors militating against government and Civil Society efforts to address the menace.

The programme was aimed at providing a framework that would improve the quality of policymaking towards addressing prosecution and adjudication of SGBV in the country.

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