NRHJN’s Board member gets US OrangeChamp
… Says US needs to do more for women in developing countries
A member, Board of Trustees, Network of Reproductive Health Journalists in Nigeria, NRHJN, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi who is also the Chair, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) & co-Convener, *#Womanifesto19*, has been named among some other Nigerian women as *OrangeChamp* by the US Embassy in Nigeria.
She said that the Nigeria’s US Embassy recognition of some Nigerian women activists in the period of the 16-days Activism is a welcome development.
“It is actually a profiling of different women who are really committed to ensuring women in Nigeria who suffer violence in one form or the other have their voices heard and justice done. These women are those who have at one point or the other taken actions on behalf of other women to get justice for their plight some of such women today are survivors. Honestly there are many more.” She explained.
According to her, the recognition is an acknowledgement of the work Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) and services is doing.
“We women activists do some of the things we do selflessly, without knowing some other people are watching and appreciative of our work and the passion we invest in the work. The results contribute to transforming the society.”
“For me, there is still much work to be done. I am particularly inspired by the number of young people that are recognized by the US embassy and this is inspiring to those of us who have been in the work for over 20years that the baton will soon go to much younger women.”
Afolabi stated that the fact that the recognition is coming during the 16 days of Activism is also instructive of the US government commitments to ending violence in Nigeria.
“The recognition is therefore dedicated to everyone working to end violence against women and girls. It is a recognition for all of us.
I woke up to see my name everywhere and I was pleasantly shocked and surprised too.”
“This is not the first time I am receiving an award or recognition but for me this is a particular recognition that has come in an unusual way and from a very credible source as US government.” She explained.
Speaking on the Global Gag Rule and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights which affect us as women, she appealed to the US government, President Donald Trump to take another look at the Global Gag Rule (GGR), which for some time now has reduced support for women reproductive health.
“We want the government to relax that rule and allow every woman especially those in the developing countries have right of access to make informed reproductive health choices for the integrity of their bodies.
“The US government needs to do more in supporting women in the third world countries to have more access to contraceptives by reinstating those funds withdrawn from some providers on account of GGR.”
She said women the world over deserve rights to their body integrity. “Such freedom is desired as we aim for a world free of violence against women.” She concluded.