#Article (Archive)

Commit, Act, Demand: Freedom of Choice for Women

Dec 4, 2009, 12:49 PM

About Moremi
Founded in 2003, The Moremi Initiative for Women's Leadership in Africa strives to engage, inspire and equip young women and girls to become the next generation of leading politicians, activists, social entrepreneurs and change agents: Leaders who can transform and change institutions that legitimize and perpetuate discrimination against women. We firmly believe that the full and active participation of women in leadership is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Africa, and addresses leadership imbalances. Moremi Initiative is headquartered in Ghana with offices in Nigeria and the United States- and works throughout Africa.

About MILEAD Fellows
I was honored to be nominated among 25 outstanding young African women leaders as 2009/2010 MILEAD Fellows. The MILEAD Fellows represent some of Africa's most extra-ordinary young women leaders with the courage and commitment to lead/effect change in their communities. The Fellows, selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants represent 21 African countries and the Diaspora and include emerging young women leaders engaged in actively leading change on critical issues that range from women's health and HIV/AIDS, economic justice, community development to political participation and environmental justice. They are between 19 to 25 years but have already demonstrated their commitment to serve and lead society at large. Together, they form a unique community which can dramatically affect the lives of future generations.

About 16 Day of Activism Against gender Violence                                                                 
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence which is an international campaign originating from the first Women?s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University in 1991.  Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day against Violence against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation.  This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

-           raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels

-           strengthening local work around violence against women

-           establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women

-            providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies

-           demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women

-           creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women

The theme for this year's campaign is: Commit - Act - Demand:  We CAN End Violence against Women!

My project on early and forced marriage:                                                                                  
In my fight against violence against women, I am looking at one of the major courses of domestic violence in my community which is early forced & arranged marriage which today results in profound physical, psychological and emotional consequences for affected girls and most often cut off educational opportunity and chances of personal growth for them. It further results in premature pregnancy and childbearing and potential lifetime of domestic and sexual subservience over which these girls has no control. These phenomena is destroying the lives of too many girls and young women in our community and denying them opportunities and rights that they may never have back. It requires urgent and immediate action Therefore, my project is a small but an important step in this direction- to mobilize and sensitize parents, girls and the community on the negative implications of this practice, promote community dialogue and action on the issue.

At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995; women's organizations from around the world met with government representatives and collaboratively produced the Beijing Platform for Action - one of the most forward-thinking government negotiated documents on women's rights to date. This ground-breaking document set forth a list of actions, which, if implemented, would significantly reduce incidences of violence against women. 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women. Therefore, we must all demand implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as other key documents, and demand state accountability for ending impunity, allocating adequate resources, and implementing good laws and national action plans to address Violence against Women. We also call on the UN to take bolder action on the UN Secretary-General's 'Unite to End Violence against Women' Campaign.

What each and every one can do to end violence against women:

-           Don't abuse your daughter, wife, mother, girlfriend or any female

-           Speak out against violence against women when you see one

-           Parents must desist from forcing their young and innocent daughters into marriages that they are not ready or prepared for.

 -          The media should help create awareness about this important issue.

-           Those who want to be part of my campaign or wish to support my campaign can contact me on +220 6206600 or send an email to fcmalang@hotmail.co.uk.

Read Other Articles In Article (Archive)