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Nigerians React to the “War on Nigerian Women”

Let’s all stand against the war on Nigerian women, and stand with these women and organisations in ensuring that the rights of women, girls and marginalised persons are not trampled on.

BellaNaija.com

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It started a few weeks back, when officers with the Nigeria Police Force carried out raids on women in the capital city Abuja.

News had quickly spread that the police were visiting night clubs and restaurants and carting away women they found alone or with men. A Twitter user shared a story of a how a woman seated with a man in restaurant had to show the police her wedding ring to avoid being carted away.

Yomi Shogunle, the pioneer head of the Police Complaint Response Unit, said on his official Twitter that the raid was on sex workers, and “prostitution is a crime under the law” and “a sin under the 2 main religions of FCT residents.”

It was soon revealed that police officers allegedly raped the women in exchange for bail, a move that a Nigerian actor described as theft, not rape, because sex workers, in his words, “do not have dignity.”

When the news of the ban on legal abortion in Alabama broke, Nigerians criticised the bill, as well as the shutting down of a Marie Stopes clinic in Nairobi.

While so many asked that Nigerians “face what is happening in their country,” they refused, because they know that an attack on women’s rights anywhere is an attack on women’s rights everywhere.

And, now, it has gotten to the shores of Nigeria.

Officers of the Nigeria Police Force were alleged to have invaded the clinic of Marie Stopes International in Surulere, seeking to arrest a doctor.

A Twitter user, @Imoteda, shared the story on her timeline, revealing how the officers allegedly arrived the clinic, which provides sexual health care for both male and female.

While the Nigeria Police is yet to release a statement concerning the raid on the clinic, its partners, the Education as a Vaccine (EVA), together with forty Nigerian women, including writers Lola Shoneyin, OluTimehin Adegbeye, Wana Udobang, and activists Pamela Adie, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi and Azeenarh Mohammed, have released a statement calling against the coordinated attack on the rights of women, girls, and marginalised persons.

The statement, with the headline “End the War in Nigeria Women,” criticises in strong words the alleged attack on Marie Stopes Clinic.

The statement included data that shows why clinics like Marie Stopes, that provides contraceptives and birth control, is necessary in our country Nigeria.

“This is happening in a country that contributes 10% to the global burden of maternal deaths ranking fourth after Sierra Leone, Chad and the Central African Republic. Safe spaces where women can access confidential and non-judgemental sexual and reproductive health services are vital and we don’t have enough of them to reduce the risk of maternal deaths. Just before the raid in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Health was testifying before the Nigerian Senate about the overburdened health system, the deplorable state of General Hospitals in the country and the need to revitalize the tertiary and primary health care system in Nigeria. Women and girls are dying from preventable deaths because of lack of access to quality sexual and reproductive health services,” the statement read.

Let’s all stand against the war on Nigerian women, and stand with these women and organisations in ensuring that the rights of women, girls and marginalised persons are not trampled on.

1 Comment

  1. by_stander

    May 27, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Soon it will become obvious – the joke is on us, for allowing these rent seekers to get this far.

    they move from the street, into business establishments, now including hospitals. Our rights are a joke to them.

    it seems now even degree holding doctors are within their cross hairs. someone should remind me how many times they have raided law offices or NBA – like i said the joke is on the rest of us.

    They will not stop until we are completely enslaved to the point we dont even believe we are human beings again.

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