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Protection, enforcement of widows’ rights vital to SDGs- Foundation

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The Support Toward Advancement Networking and Development for Women And Children Foundation says the recognition, protection and enforcement of widows’ rights are vital to attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Its Executive Director, Mrs Olusayo Adeleye, made the assertion at the 2019 International Widows’ Day in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that International Widows’ Day is a United Nations day of action to highlight and combat discrimination and injustice suffered by widows worldwide.

It was initiated by the Loomba Foundation in 2005. The plights of widows worldwide has been the foundation’s focus since it was established in 1997.

According to its founder, Raj Loomba, women in many countries experience great hardship after the death of their husbands.

“They are not looked after by governments or NGOs and they are shunned by society.”

The observance falls on June 23 because Loomba’s mother became a widow on that date in 1954.

Adeleye, also a legal practitioner, said that the widows’ rights must be a development priority.

According to her, protecting their rights is crucial to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Widows must not be left behind in the attainment of SDGs.

“Empowering widows to live productive lives, regardless of their marital status will contribute in no small measure to attaining the SDGs.

“Notably: Goal 1– End Poverty; Goal 2-Zero Hunger; Goal 3- Good Health and Wellbeing; Goal 5- Gender Equality, Goal 8- Decent Work and Economic Growth and Goal 10- Reduced Inequalities among others,” she said.

Adeleye called for the abolition of harmful widowhood practices and inhumane traditional rites which endanger the lives of widows.

She said these unhealthy practices could result in serious health issues, including psychological trauma to the widow who was already traumatised by the loss of a husband.

The women’s rights activist, also called on the three tiers of government to formulate policies that would protect and empower widows.

“Widows all over the world, more especially in developing countries like Nigeria, face this realities.

“The governments and society must begin to take urgent steps to protect widows from the harsh situations they usually find themselves after the death of their husbands.

“If we are to be taken seriously as a nation that fights for women’s rights and equality, the governments must look into the issues of widows,” she said.

Adeleye said: “It is estimated that there are over 248 million widows all over the world and nearly half of this numbers live in extreme poverty and are victims of acts of extreme cruelty.

“Governments across the globe must, therefore, take it upon themselves to ensure that programmes and policies for protecting and empowering widows and their children must be formulated and properly implemented.”

She reteirated her organisation’s commitment to adequate recognition and enforcement of women and children’s rights, urging other civil society organisations to do the same.

Environment

World Environment Day: Expert calls for actions in biodiversity protection

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An environmental activist, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, says there is the need  for more proactive actions in biodiversity protection in the country.

Emechete made the assertion  in  an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos,  in commemoration of the 2020 World Environment Day (WED).

NAN reports that WED is aimed by the United Nations to encourage worldwide awareness and actions to protect the environment.

It is celebrated every June 5.

 

The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Biodiversity: Time for Nature“.

 

Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water.

According to him,  biodiversity is a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world.

He added that about one million plant and animal species risked extinction largely due to human activities.

The expert called on Nigerians to take biodiversity serious and stop seeing nature only as a source of foods, raw materials and extra income.

”We need to do more about biodiversity as a country; we must take definite and proactive actions in protecting our environment and wildlife.

”We do not understand the importance of protecting species of animals and plants. All we think about is what is good for food or can bring in income. This ought not to be so.

”What we basically perceive nature for in Nigeria is food, medicine and basic source of raw materials.

”We fell trees without replanting  and poach wildlife without a thought of the specie going into extinction. We basically do not take enough actions to protect biodiversity,” he told NAN.

Emechete, who also called for the enforcement of policies to protect the environment and nature, said that more actions toward protecting the environment would be to the benefit of all.

”We need to do something significant in terms of actionable plans to protect nature  and the environment from our end.

”We have not done any significant work in biodiversity in Nigeria. I am not talking of paperwork and reports,  but meaning practical actions.

”We have a few polices against tree felling, but the question is: Are they being implemented?

”Sometimes some forest guards  even take bribes to allow people to  fell trees,” he said.


Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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Economy

Yuguda pledges to prioritise investors’ protection

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Mr Lamido Yuguda, the incoming Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says  investors’ interest will  be at the centre of his administration.

A statement by Mrs Efe Ebelo,  Head, Corporate Communication of SEC in Abuja on Wednesday, said that Yuguda disclosed the plan during his screening by the Senate Committee on Capital Market.

Yuguda also warned that any operator who short-charged investors would not go free.

He pledged the commitment of other nominees in ensuring that the capital market in the country realised its potential.

Yuguda said the incoming management would be willing to work with operators and stakeholders to ensure robust regulation of the capital market.

“We want to assure investors that this market is for them and we are ready to do everything to ensure that we increase investor enlightenment through education, robust regulations and fair dealing.

“For those that want to defraud investors, there will be no respite because we are ready to fight market manipulation to the last.

”Anyone that flouts our rules will be made to face the consequences of their actions ,” he said.

Yuguda commended the committee for its efforts toward revamping the capital market, noting that the management would work with the members to achieve more results.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, said the country’s capital market was a critical tool that could rescue the nation’s economy in the face of COVID-19.

Amosun said the capital market had the depth to revamp the nation’s poor state of infrastructure.

He noted that there was no better time than now for the federal and state governments to leverage opportunities provided by the capital market to source infrastructure financing.

The committee chairman commended stakeholders in the market for their efforts, adding that there was room for improvement to get the nation’s economy on the right path.

Recall  that President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a letter to the Senate, requested the confirmation of Yuguda as SEC DG, and three other nominees as commissioners.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Foreign

UN chief calls for protection of refugees during pandemic

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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday, called for the protection of refugees and internally displaced people, who he said are particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video message, Guterres said people on the move faced a health crisis, as they often lived  in crowded conditions and lacked tools to protect themselves from the virus.

“The loss of income from Covid-19 is likely to lead to a colossal 109 billion dollar drop in remittances.

“That’s the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of all official development assistance that is no longer being sent back home to the 800 million people who depend on it,’’ he said.

People on the move also face a protection crisis, with many states closing their borders to asylum seekers, and amid skyrocketing xenophobia, racism and stigmatisation.

The UN chief launched a policy brief which calls for an inclusive public health and socio-economic response, as well as  border controls that respect the rights of people on the move.

“No country can fight the pandemic or manage migration alone, but together, we can contain the spread of the virus, buffer its impact on the most vulnerable and recover better for the benefit of all,’’ Guterres said.


Edited By: Halima Sheji (NAN)

 

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Foreign

UN chief asks for protection of people on the move during pandemic

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday asked for protection of people on the move in face of COVID-19.

In a video message for the launch of a policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on people on the move, Guterres asked countries to develop a new mindset on human mobility.

The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to re-imagine human mobility. Four core understandings must guide the way,” he said.

First, exclusion is costly and inclusion pays. An inclusive public health and socio-economic response will help suppress the virus, restart the economies and advance the Sustainable Development Goals, said Guterres.

Second, human dignity must be upheld in face of the pandemic. Lessons should be learned from the handful of countries that have shown how to implement travel restrictions and border controls while fully respecting human rights and international refugee protection principles, he said.

Third, no one is safe until everyone is safe. Diagnostics, treatment and vaccines must be accessible to all, said the UN chief.

Fourth, people on the move are part of the solution, he noted. “Let us remove unwarranted barriers, explore models to regularize pathways for migrants and reduce transaction costs for remittances.”

Guterres expressed gratitude to countries, especially developing countries, that have opened their borders and hearts to refugees and migrants, despite their own social, economic and health challenges.

Those countries offer a moving lesson to others in a period when doors are closed. It is essential that those countries are provided with increased support and full solidarity, he said. “We all have a vested interest to ensure that the responsibility of protecting the world‘s refugees is equitably shared and that human mobility remains safe, inclusive, and respects international human rights and refugee law.”

People on the move, such as refugees and internally displaced persons who are forced to flee their homes from violence or disaster, or migrants, face three crises rolled into one: a health crisis, a socio-economic crisis, and a protection crisis, said Guterres.

People on the move are exposed to the virus often in crowded conditions where social distancing is an impossible luxury, and where basics such as health care, water, sanitation and nutrition are often hard to find.

This impact will be even more devastating to the large number of people on the move who live in least developed countries. One third of the world‘s internally displaced population live in the 10 countries most at risk for COVID-19, he said.

People on the move often work in the informal economy without access to social protection. In addition, the loss of income due to COVID-19 is likely to lead to a colossal 109-billion-U.S.-dollar drop in remittances. That’s the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of all official development assistance that is no longer being sent back home to the 800 million people who depend on it, said the UN chief.

People on the move face a protection crisis as more than 150 countries have imposed border restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. At least 99 states make no exception for people seeking asylum from persecution. At the same time, fear of COVID-19 has led to skyrocketing xenophobia, racism and stigmatization, he said.

And the already precarious situation of women and girls is ever more dire, as they face higher risks of exposure to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation, he said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Mongolian PM calls for synergizing efforts for child protection

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Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh on Monday called on his citizens and all public and private organizations in the country to improve protection for children.

“Since 2017, the Mongolian government has tripled the number of organizations responsible for providing child protection services and increased the costs of child protection in stages. However, there is still a need to improve child protection efforts,” Khurelsukh said in his greetings on the occasion of the International Children’s Day.

“Therefore, all people, public and private organizations in the country need to work together to synergize their efforts to further improve child protective services,” the prime minister said.

Children up to the age of 18 accounted for 35.4 percent of the country’s 3.2 million people by the end of 2019, according to the National Statistics Office of Mongolia.

Mongolia began marking International Children’s Day as an official public holiday in 1996, and celebrates it on June 1.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has not widely celebrated International Children’s Day nor organized public activities this year.

(XINHUA)

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Entertainment

Artist seeks protection of online intellectual property right

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Obinna Makata, a Visual Artist, on Sunday urged the Federal Government to formulate policies for protection of artists’ works exhibited online in view of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic..

Makata told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the protection was necessary since the art industry had embraced online exhibitions as against the conventional physical exhibitions.

He said there was a great need for the establishment of favourable policies protecting artists’ intellectual property right to guard against their works being duplicated.

“With our embrace of online exhibitions and art auction, this will give room for increased cases of duplicated art works, which is criminal.

“We want government to establish policies that will automatically protect the property right of all artists, this is very important at this critical period,” he said.

Makata also called on art collectors and gallery owners who were usually involved in sales and exhibitions of art works to ensure mechanisms were put in place to guard against theft in the industry.

According to him, these set of individuals could ascertain the original owners of various art works being purchased or exhibited in the galleries.

The artist sympathised with the families of those who lost their lives due to the Coronavirus pandemic, adding that he produced a sculptural piece during the lockdown which he entitled “Palliative Expectant”.

He said that the art work addressed the way Nigerians were treated during the distribution of palliatives for the COVID-19 lockdown.

“In my work, “Palliative Expectant”, I used animal bones as my medium depicting decay, decadence and death; I also used crutches representing limitations experienced by majority of Nigerians at that period when they could not go out to get means of survival.

“This is only the first series out of the many I will be coming up with because am still gathering information about the pandemic.

“The essence of the work is to keep history alive for generations to know happenings during the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

Makata noted that he experienced lots of frustrations during the lockdown period, when he exhausted his painting materials and had nowhere to buy from.

He said that prompted him to explore animal bones as a medium which he was able to explore well and gained full understanding of the medium.

“Before the lockdown, I was exploring Ankara fabric and Ghana-must-go bags as my medium but now I have fully explored and understood animal bones as a good medium also.

“The lockdown period afforded me the opportunity to do this,” he said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

 

 

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General news

COVID-19: Over 100 PWDs sensitized on protection, safety, positive lifestyles

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Over 100 People with Disabilities (PWDs), on Friday, undergone virtual (internet) communication sensitisation on COVID-19 pandemic protection, safety and positive lifestyle.

The virtual communication workshop, which participants were drawn from Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Kano, Kaduna and Lagos States, was organized by Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), in Enugu.

Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD, speaking from virtual communication server-point, said that the virtual workshop was a response to enhance COVID-19 behavioral change among Nigerians with disabilities as the virus did not discriminate.

Anyaele said that when disasters occurred, it was persons with disabilities that bore the greatest pains and suffering arising from it.

“During the total lockdown in Nigeria, we witnessed how persons with disabilities were left behind by governments at the state and national level. It is by the grace of God that many of us with disabilities are still living today.

“We are worried that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is yet to inform us how many confirmed cases of persons with disabilities with COVID-19.

“It is disheartening that disability data on health and development issues does not matter to people in governments in Nigeria.

“We are also concerned that guidelines on ease of lockdown for different sector of economy and social sectors are silent on measures to improve equal opportunities for persons with disabilities.

“Therefore, as leaders of persons with disabilities, it becomes imperative for us to deepen our knowledge on COVID-19 in order to guide our response to our clusters and communities,’’ he said.

Anyaele said that CCD was committed to capacity building of PWDs on behavourial change on COVID-19, support state systems on response and recovery.

He added that governments should apply disability sensitive approach in community sensitisation on COVID-19.

On Preventive Measures against Contracting COVID-19’’; Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman, Medical Sub-committee FCT Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19, urged PWDs to abide by NCDC directives on the pandemic as well as outlined symptoms and mode of infection.

“Some of the preventive measures to include washing hands regularly with soap under running water, maintainOnG good physical distancing, sneeze in tissues and dispose properly or use your elbow and to use alcohol-based sanitisers always.

“The virus is at the stage of community transmission in the country and PWDs should be extra careful to avoid infection.

“Also, apart from government interventions, PWDs should take responsibility by sanitising their assistive devices, make sure their helpers put on face mask, as well as avoid crowded places,’’ Oji said.

He also revealed that the Federal and state governments had made provision for easy accessibility of PWDs to most of the isolation and treatment centres across the country.

Mr Gab Nnamani, President, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Enugu State, appreciated CCD for building capacity of PWDs on virtual communication in this pandemic era and its commitment to wellbeing and welfare of PWDs.

Nnamani, who is also one of the participants, said that the virtual workshop was so enriching and had exposed him to unknown knowledge about the virus and its contagious nature.

“The virtual workshop has been a rewarding and innovative experience that exposed issues on COVID-19 further,’’ he said.

A participant, Mr Gideon Eze, who is a visually impaired, thanked CCD and its partners for such a wonderful workshop that exposed PWDs on the international standard for modern conferences and workshops.

Eze however, called on government at all levels to do more to ease the hardship on PWDs due to the lockdown necessitated by measures to check spread of COVID-19.

The virtual workshop, which was organized by CCD partnering Action Aid and funded by UKAID, is part of response on COVID-19 and persons with disabilities in the project on Strengthening Citizens Resistance against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C).

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

 

 

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Foreign

New York medical worker calls for stable supply chains, income protection amid pandemic

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Despite “the monthslong warning provided by China and Italy,” the U.S. government “failed to provide frontline health care workers with basic protections,” a paramedic wrote in a letter published earlier this week by The New York Times.

The letter, written by Mike Gardner, a paramedic that has been working in New York City for 20 years, called on the U.S. administration to ensure reliable production and distribution of personal protective gear, and to guarantee health insurance and income protection to frontline medical workers.

“The window of time to do this is now,” said Gardner, who responded to the 9/11 attacks in 2001, learning from the experience that the current “commitments” to and “clapping” for of ground zero workers will soon fade.

“Months into a pandemic that may last years, there is still no guarantee that protective gear supply chains will be restored and maintained,” said Gardner, noting that medical workers had to reuse single-use disposable masks in the first stages of the outbreak.

In addition to the crushing call-out volumes and staggering mortality rates, health care workers also have to endure wondering whether the health of their families and themselves is at risk, “and what will become of them if they are unable to work,” said Gardner.

“Let’s use this collective gratitude to enact legislation to guarantee health insurance and income protection to frontline workers who suffer any disability, physical or mental, arising from their exposure to the virus,” said Gardner.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Plexiglass protection Plex’Eat designed to protect diners from novel coronavirus at restaurant in Paris

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People pose under Plex’Eat prototype plexiglass bubbles by designer Christophe Gernigon at the H.A.N.D restaurant in Paris, France, May 27, 2020. The plexiglass protection Plex’Eat was designed by Christophe Gernigon to surround diners to protect them from the novel coronavirus at the H.A.N.D restaurant in Paris. Plex’Eat is simple to set up and take apart, easy to clean and disinfect, adaptable to all types of establishments and boutiques as well as public places to protect guests and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the designer. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua)

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