Tag Archives: gender


By Innocent Doris U ESQ


This day was declared on December 17, 1999, by the United Nations (UN), 20 years ago, but the history of this day, dates back to 1981. This day is very relevant as the world seeks to bring Gender Based Violence and injustice against women to an end. This year’s theme is Generation Equality stands against rape. As we celebrate the International day for the elimination of violence against women, I am caught in a dialogue within, a reality check on the import of this day and the difference in the prevalence of violence against women in Nigeria 20 years ago and in our present day.

The present glaring reality of Gender Based Violence in Nigeria is quite alarming. The prevalence of Gender Based Violence is at an all time high with minors and babies at risk of becoming rape survivors. We must speak up against this endemic evil that is beginning to eat into the fabrics of our society; we must do all we can to avoid it from becoming a norm. We must protect our women and children from this terrible act. Movies like Ovys voice, alter ego, Code of Silence amongst other numerous Nolly wood movies depict the after math of rape and the different psychological trauma that victims of rape go through.

Rape is a Crime, not a civil matter that can be settled. In my line of work I have seen mistakes that victims and guardians make when a rape incidence occurs. These costly mistakes end up affecting the victim and eventually the case.

Rape has been defined by Section 1(1) of the VAPP Act 2015.

A person commits rape if –

  • He or She intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his or her body or anything else;
  • The other person does not consent to the penetration Or
  • The consent is obtained by force or means of threat or intimidation of any kind or by fear or harm or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the actor the use of any substance or additive capable of taking away the will of such person or in the case of a married person by impersonating his or her spouse.

It is important to know what to do when a rape incident has occurred:

  • Report to the nearest Government Hospital immediately for tests and a detailed test report.
  • Get a professional counselor to help the victim heal emotionally and mentally.
  • Get a lawyer


At this point, it is important to reiterate that parents and guardians should keenly watch their children and take reports made to them about harassment or suggestive words very seriously. A lot of child rape would have been prevented only if the parents or guardians of the victims had taken the cues their children had given them, listened to them or even acted on the reports they were given. Studies have shown that Child rape or violations are perpetuated mostly by familiar people or people the children trust. So parents are enjoined to be extra careful of who they allow to have access to their children or wards.


In conclusion, Lawyers Alert is always here for you to make reports of any violation of human rights. If you are aware of anyone whose rights have been violated, please contact us through any of our platforms, our numbers are on the website. We look forward to hearing from you.




                                                                    Call us: 08099937358, 08099937318

                                                                     Twitter: @lawyersalertng

                                                                    Instagram: @lawyersalertnigeria

                                                                    Facebook: Lawyers Alert Nigeria


Lawyers Alert hereby puts our readers on notice that this article is based on the writers opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of the organization except otherwise stated.


Tags: , , , , , , ,


By Doris U. Innocent Esq

lawyers alert

Sexual rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents, and other consensus documents. They rest on the recognition that all individuals have the right—free of coercion, violence, and discrimination of any kind—to the highest attainable standard of sexual health; to pursue a satisfying, safe, and pleasurable sexual life; to have control over and decide freely, and with due regard for the rights of others, on matters related to their sexuality, reproduction, sexual orientation, bodily integrity, choice of partner, and gender identity; and to the services, education, and information, including comprehensive sexuality education, necessary to do so.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights SRHR, in Nigeria is an area which, owing to culture and religion, is neither making as much progress nor being given as much space for expression in comparative terms with more “acceptable” rights. Violence against Women and Girls, Abortion, Same Sex Relationships, Female Sex Work, Rights of Persons Living with Affected by or Most at Risk of HIV, Female Genital Mutilation, Unlimited Access to Family Planning, Rights of Persons Living With Disabilities etc. are all issues that citizens regularly confront yet fail to attract the commensurate attention in the positive, from authorities.

The cry out against sexual rights violations in Nigeria is a very serious issue. Sexual rights violations are real and they stare at us every day in our neighborhoods, families and different circles of association. We believe that the first thing we must understand about these individuals is that they are human beings. They are entitled to their basic human rights, they are deserving of love, understanding and acceptance. A lot of organizations have carried out public sensitization, awareness and campaigns through various channels in Nigeria regarding issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. This is an applaud-able approach to dealing with the glaring issues of SRHR violations inherent in our society. There still remain quite a number of people who are either victims of sexual violations or are at risk of becoming victims of sexual rights violation. These victims are usually at left at their own peril, they are seen as objects of constant abuse and discrimination by members of the society.

Lawyers Alert is an established Human Rights Organization with an internationally recognized track record of successful interventions in relation to Human Rights abuses in Nigeria. It is made up of lawyers and other professionals with members across the 36 states of Nigeria. It builds capacity on essentially eco-socio rights, advocacy/legislative engagement, and organizational development. Its programs are essentially the monitoring of rights violations, legal assistance and interventions geared towards enhancing good governance. Lawyers Alert was founded in the year 2000, it was birthed from the place of passion to fight and restore the rights of those whose human rights have been infringed upon. Lawyers Alert has been in the forefront of promoting women’s rights in Nigeria ever since. We have carried out many projects which have impacted positively on the lives of thousands of women and children. Presently, we are implementing projects aimed at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, eliminating sexual and reproductive health and rights violation and providing free legal services to victims.

Notwithstanding, Lawyers Alert’s vision remains clear: A developed Nigeria where the rights of vulnerable groups, especially women are respected. Similarly, her mission has not changed: To promote the rights of vulnerable groups, especially women through advocacy and through provision of free legal services. We are not relenting. We will keep doing the best we can to ensure we carry out our mission and achieve our vision. Denial of an individual’s rights is denial of the rights of all. We will always have mothers, wives, aunt, sisters and daughters with us. They are all entitled to their rights. We should individually and collectively stop violating their rights. And we should do the best we can to protect and defend their rights. This is our yearning for Nigeria, and together we can achieve this. Here at LawyersAlert, we have taken up the responsibility to bear the burdens of people whose sexual rights have been violated or at risk of being violated. We also make periodic violation reports, with instrumentality of our web based tool. You can get to know us better through our website .

It is on this premise that we invite the general public as always to report human right and sexual rights violation against them and other people, we also encourage you to refer people in need of our services to us. We assure you, that we will work to ensure that justice is served.




Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Islam and feminism: A battle of viewpoints

This article was posted on March 25, 2014 at

By Morgan Meaker


This month, British charity Maslaha launched the website “Islam and Feminism”– a new project which aims to unite the two belief systems. “Muslim women have the same core concerns as white, secular, British women: the workplace, discrimination [and] childcare” says the charity’s Latifa Akay, yet they have long been excluded from the feminist debate. This is what the project wants to change by promoting the idea that women of all religions can push for gender equality.

Inna Shevchenko, leader of topless protest group Femen, strongly disagrees. “I will never have a discussion about Muslim feminism because it doesn’t exist. It cannot exist. It’s oxymoronic.” Femen’s intolerance has seen them labelled as “white colonials” and “cultural imperialists” but the group’s real fault is the way it forces women into a mould, leaving no space for individualism.

In 2012, Femen protested against the International Olympic Committee’s collaboration with Islamist regimes. As a demonstrator was led away by police, she screamed “I fight for women who are not free. We are not free”. She had elected herself as spokesperson for women around the globe but the way she spoke for Muslims prompted backlash.

It seemed that many Muslim women did not want to be “liberated” by semi-nude activists. They felt Femen were patronizing and had done little research into the culture of Islam. The Facebook page “Muslim Women Against Femen” was founded and a series of selfies, emblazoned with slogans appeared – “hijab is my right”, “nudity does not liberate me” and “I do not need saving”. A feeling of resentment was prominent; these women did not want western ideals imposed on their faith.

Artist Sarah Maple considers this idea in her current exhibition, “God is a feminist”. Her work turns the tables on common perceptions of Muslim women as trapped and victimized. “In the West there is an obsession with being sexually attractive in a very limited and narrow way. I was looking at how this may be seen as a form of oppression and that there may be a freedom in covering up”.

Feminism should never be rooted in the idea of whitewashing society. Surely nothing is more backward than the mind-set; “to be free, you must look like me, think like me and live like me”. Equality is about giving all genders absolute choice, no matter their religion.

Recently it has become a trend for far right groups to hijack feminist rhetoric – alienating Muslims from feminist dialogue. During an anti-Islam rally in Munich, The Freedom Party’s Michael Stürzenberger furiously revealed to the crowd that Sharia instructs men to hit women. “We don’t want that in Bavaria!” he bellowed. Yet he is not concerned with women’s rights, instead he channels his efforts into spreading Islamophobia. He’s already lead over 100 anti-Islam demonstrations.

British groups like the English Defence League and the British National Party also rush to condemn Islam’s lack of feminist values. But their opinions in this area seem entirely self-serving, especially when they are associated with candidates like the BNP’s Nick Eriksen.

Feminism must separate itself from inflammatory politics. Instead, its focus should be on educating women and empowering them to make their own choices – making sure no one is trapped in any lifestyle. However freedom and tolerance should always be on the same side.

Feminism should mean that women can work in any industry, receive the same pay as their male colleagues and demand respect from their husbands, whether they wear the hijab or not. Of course Muslims can be feminist and their views should be welcomed into the debate.


Leave a comment

Posted by on June 13, 2014 in Women Rights and Gender


Tags: , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: