JUSTICE IN COURT FOR NIGERIAN WOMEN
APRIL 6, 2022
According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in March 2022, Nigeria ranked 184 out of 192 countries in women’s representation in national parliaments. Nigerian women have been underrepresented and marginalized from inception in policy-making positions, which is a clear opposition to the provisions of sections 147, 42, and 14 of the 1999 Constitution, Articles 19 and 18 of the African Charter on People’s and Human rights, and other international human rights instruments such as Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR)
In 2020, Vision Spring Initiatives joined other CSOs as co-plaintiff to demand women’s inclusion in political positions via the 35% affirmative action policy as enshrined in the 2006 National Gender Policy. Since 2020, the organization has engaged in court hearings and pushed the conversation through social campaigns to increase visibility.
On the 6th of April, 2022, VSI’s advocacy efforts created a historical victory for Nigerian women. The judgment was decided in our favor against the Federal Government of Nigeria whose defendants are President Muhammadu Buhari & the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. The judgment was delivered at the Federal High Court, Court 6, Maitama, before Hon. Justice Donatus Okorowo was defended by Barrister Marshal Abubakar, a counsel in the Falana and Falana Chambers.
This indeed is a momentous victory for us and we hope this judgment will set the precept for equal rights for Nigerian women and girls, as well as ensure inclusive and safe governance for everyone.
Building on this victory, we urge the National Assembly to reconsider the earlier dismissed gender bills. As promised by them, we anticipate a rereading of these bills and a positive outcome. This achievement will accelerate inclusive and equal democratic engagements for Nigeria.
Vision Spring Initiatives (VSI) is indeed proud to have been a part of this democratic milestone in the history of Nigerian women. Our commitment to ensuring an inclusive and safe politics and decision-making environment for Nigerian women is indeed reinforced. We will forge ahead with an intersectional lens and feminist perspectives until we achieve an equal democratic state.
Congratulations to all Nigerian women and girls.
Project Director, Vision Spring Initiatives