This concept paper highlights BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights and the Embassy of Sweden’s activity to mark March 8, 2011 International Women’s Day. The activity will bring together stakeholders from various sectors to discuss, commit to defending women’s human rights, and make recommendations for increasing the enforcement of women’s human rights in Nigeria.
The international Women’s day provides important platform for promoting women’s human rights and for gauging stakeholders’ responsibilities and achievements. Since its inception in 1911, the International Women’s Day has been set aside as a day to mark the economic, political, social achievement of women all over the world. Each year global themes are selected that form the focus of activities for that year. In 2010, for example, the International Women’s day was celebrated around the theme: “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All”. March 8, 2011 marks the centenary anniversary (1911-2011) of the International Women’s Day with the theme “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women”. According to the United Nation’s Department of Public Information, International Women’s Day is “When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development” (http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/womday97.htm)
Come March 8, 2011 different activities will be organized all over the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day and examine women’s economic and social status and recommend as well as demand increased opportunities for achieving gender equality and equity. UNIFEM, Australia, for example, plans to organize 100 events around the country to celebrate the 100 years existence of International Women’s Day. (http://www.internationalwomensday.org.au/)
Over the years BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights has utilized the platform of International Women’s Day to promote women’s human rights through the organization of events that create awareness of women’s human rights and encourage the promotion of these rights in every sector. It is against this backdrop that BAOBAB is collaborating with the Embassy of Sweden to organize a seminar on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. The panel discussants at the seminar will include stakeholders from different sectors, government, corporate, civil society, amongst others, who will examine the status of women in Nigeria, identify challenges to realizing women’s human rights and commit to increase efforts in the different sectors to achieve higher level of women’s human rights protection and promotion. The seminar will also form the basis for further collaboration between BAOBAB and the different sectors in order to increase the achievement of BAOBAB’s mandate within Nigeria and the region.