Nigeria: Young Lawyers Seek Better Reproductive Rights for Women

05 January, 2012
Vanguard (Nigeria)

Members of Young Lawyers Forum have said that the inability of Nigerian women to exercise their reproductive rights was endangering their lives. Chairman of the Forum, Ilofuan Igbuan, who made the observation in Abuja, said: "Women reproductive rights are issues endangering the lives of our women folk and making Nigeria to lose respect in the comity of nations when reproductive rights are being addressed."

Igbuan who spoke when he led a team of the forum's council members on a courtesy visit on Ipas Country Director, Dr. Ejike Oji, urged Ipas to support the group in advocating for reproductive rights and other issues affecting women in Nigeria through capacity building and leadership training to equip the young lawyers to face challenges of moving Nigeria to the next level.

Commending Ipas for the presentation it made to the young lawyers who attended the 2011 NBA conference last August in Port Harcourt, he said the education from the activity "did not only impact knowledge to the attendees but also enlivened the session".

Igbuan commended Oji and the Head of Policy Unit of Ipas-Nigeria, Hauwa Shekarau as patrons of the forum in appreciation of the support their "uncommon interest in the Young Lawyers Forum of the NBA".

Responding, Oji pledged that Ipas would continue to support young lawyers on the grounds that they were future leaders who could make the difference in women reproductive health and rights.

Ipas has presence in 40 countries with a mission to ensure no woman died from complications of unsafe abortion or unwanted pregnancy.

In a related development, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has commended Dr. Oji on his admission as a Fellow of the Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Nigeria (SOGON), in Ibadan, saying that the honor "was long overdue".

Country Vice President and Regional Vice President of FIDA, Mrs. Ezinwa Okoroafor said: "It is an honour well deserved because you have done a lot for Nigerian women in areas of reproductive health and rights".