Nigeria: Zero Discrimination Day - Group Calls for More Awareness On Gender Discrimination

Members of the public light candles in remembrance of those who have died of HIV/Aids at a symbolic grave during a 2020 World Aids Day event in Kenya.

"Women need a lot of orientation especially those in rural communities where some old practices still exist," she said.

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark Zero Discrimination Day, a nongovernmental group, Nigeria Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV/AIDS (NINERELA+), has called for more awareness creation amongst women to end discrimination in society.

The National Coordinator of NINERELA+, Amber Erinmwinhe, while speaking at an event to mark the day, said women also contribute to various forms of discrimination.

She noted that women still practice some old traditions that show signs of discrimination against other women.

"Women need a lot of orientation especially those in rural communities where some old practices still exist," she said.

"There are communities where a widow's head is usually shaved by fellow women, who also take children for circumcision? Women," She said.

Ms Erinmwinhe said women need to unlearn some old traditions if the country is to end discrimination.

She called for more awareness for men and women for Nigeria to achieve zero discrimination.

Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated on March 1 every year to promote equality in practice and before the law. The day aims to create global solidarity towards ending all forms of discrimination.

Zero Discrimination Day 2021 aims at highlighting the urgent need to take action to end the inequalities surrounding income, sex, age, health status, occupation, disability, sexual orientation, drug use, gender identity, race, class, ethnicity and religion that are prevalent around the world.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), "inequality is growing for more than 70 per cent of the global population, exacerbating the risk of division and hampering economic and social development."

The programme manager of the group, Ikenna Nwakamma noted that everyone has a role to play in ending discrimination in society.

"The Family has a role to play in training a child, at the community level there are barriers and practices that are discriminatory and at the government level, there is need to ensure equitable access to opportunities and resources," he said.

Mr Nwakamma explained that the group engages various stakeholders including faith community leaders as part of its effort to achieve zero discrimination in the country.

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