2015 International Human Rights Day
For the third year in a row, the Embassy of France has participated in the celebration of the International Human Rights Day in Abuja by holding an event at the Institut Français du Nigeria.
On 9 December, more than 100 people came to the Institut Français du Nigeria to attend a panel discussion on violence against women and girls in the North-East of Nigeria.
The debate took place in the presence of the Ambassador of France, Mr Denys Gauer, the Head of the European Union Delegation, Ambassador Michel Arrion, and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, and was moderated by Mrs Grace Osakue, director of the NGO Girls Power Initiative. All the speakers were women:
Mrs Mausi Segun, Nigeria researcher for Human Rights Watch, who coordinated the report published last year by her organization called « Those terrible weeks in their camps. Boko Haram violence against women and girls in Northeast Nigeria »
Mrs Saudatu Mahdi, the well-respected Secretary General of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA)
Doctor Habiba Abdullahi, gynecologist at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital
And Mrs Hauwa Ibrahim, a renowned Nigerian human rights lawyer, working specially on the condition of women in States under sharia law and winner in 2005 of the European Parliament Sakharov Prize.
Based on their personal and professional experience (as a lawyer, a doctor, a human rights activist, etc.), the speakers have mentioned different issues of concern in Nigeria, in particular:
the kidnappings of young women (Chibok girls and others),
the violence they are bearing,
their need for psychosocial support when they are freed or when they escape,
the kinds of physical and psychological injuries they face,
the stigma falling on the victims of sexual violence.
The audience was then invited to watch the movie “The Man Who Mends Women”, by the Belgian director Thierry Michel, dedicated to the famous Congolese Doctor from Bukavu, Denis Mukwege, winner of the Sakharov Prize 2014.
Read the speech of the French Ambassador, M. Denys GAUER: