IWD: ECOWAS pledges supports for women’s right protection, gender equality

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By Lizzy Okoji

The ECOWAS Community Court Justice and the ECOWAS Commission have pledged to advocate global women rights and gender equality as the world commemorates International Women’s Day (IWD).

The ECOWAS Institutions made this known in separate felicitation messages made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

The President of ECOWAS Court of Justice, Justice Edward Asante, said that the Court had been in the vanguard for the protection of the rights of women.

This, he explained, was in the context of its mandate as a human rights Court exemplified by two cases where women were deemed to have been unfairly targeted.

He cited the cases of “Hadijatou Mani Karaou V. The Republic of Niger   and Dorothy Chioma Njemanze & 3 Ors V. Federal Republic of Nigeria,” where the court waded in.

Asante said that in the discharge of its human rights mandate as it relates to women, the court had been guided by at least eight International Legal Instruments specifically on the human rights of women.

He reassured the  women of the commitment of the management of the Court to address issues that militate against the higher representation of women albeit in the medium and long term.

“I also wish to use this opportunity to challenge our women, who suffer disproportionately from harmful traditional and other practices as well as human rights violations and discrimination, to see the court as an ally.

“In the effort to attain an equal future in which they can defy the artificial glass ceiling and realise their dreams based on their capability and hard work and not tokenism,” he said.

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Also, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Brou, appreciated women across West Africa for their interventions during the COVID-19 crises.

Brou gave special appreciation to the female staff of the commission for their significant contributions to the institution’s work and for the development of the sub-region.

“Regarding women in leadership and positions of authority, inadequate resources and the feminization of poverty hamper women’s involvement in the leadership roles of political parties or in society.

“We will equally help to ensure full participation of women in decision making, public life, positions of authority, and finally, maintain zero tolerance for Gender Based Violence.

“While working towards the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls within the ECOWAS region,” Brou said.

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