Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission ,on Saturday urged women to speak out for victims of domestic violence in their various communities.
Odinkalu, who is also National President, Unity Colleges Old Students, made the call at the reunion of Federal Government Girls’ College, Bakori, Old Girls Association in Abuja.
He noted that violence against women was a crime and must not be condoned.
“Whenever you see a sister being abused, speak out, take charge because it is a crime; and do not allow people say it is a family affair, “he said.
He said that it was shameful for the Senate to reject the 35 per cent affirmative action for appointment of women during the recent constitution amendment.
Odinkalu urged women to continue to run for political offices if they cared about building Nigeria, saying it was important to have women in positions.
He challenged the women to mentor people who were not of the same religion, ethnic or gender divide, adding that by so doing they are building the country.
Dr Amina Salilu, a Women Right Activist, in paper entitled: “Securing the Society for Girl Child Education “, said advocacy was needed to bring about a change in issues affecting the girl child.
Salilu said mentoring was a task every woman must take up to ensure that the younger generations of girls have a better future.
“Our language must be affirming of ourselves and each other because society would not change it for us.
“Let us make an impact no matter how small; let us trust each other, be courageous, speak out when you see a fellow woman being harassed and maximise the space around you. ”
Ms Hauwa Shekarau , Country Director, Ipas, an NGO, called on women to support and identify with each other rather working against themselves.
Shekarau said that mentoring could not be over emphasised because it was key to building a better society.
She added that women must speak up about violence against women in their communities and other various spheres of endeavour.
“We need to support each other and refute the saying that women are their own worst enemy.
“When we see injustice we must speak out and also rally round the women doing good and correct the erring ones in love,“he said.
She also expressed concern over the 35 per cent affirmative action for women thrown out by the senate.
Shekarau urged the women to take the issue up with policy makers so that the affirmative action could eventually see the light of day.
Mrs Hauwa Mustapha, an Old girl, also called on the women to mentor younger women, mobilise themselves and enforce a change in the education sector in Nigeria.
Mustahpha who is also the HOD, Research Department, Nigeria Labour Congress, decried the poor state of Bakori and other unity schools in the country. (NAN)