Women Rights: CSOs rejoice as UNILAG Law lecturer grabs UN job

Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi

By Achiever Peterson 

Nigeria has again made positive history in the global circles with the nomination of a renowned gender activist and Convener of Womanifesto, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi to the United Nations Spotlight Initiative Global Reference Group (2024-2026).

The nomination, which is in recognition of her immense dedication to the cause of women’s rights in Africa, is said to have thrown the human rights community in Nigeria in excitement.

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Founder of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) and Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Lagos, is staunch gender rights advocate and law lecturer and practitioner, who has led hundreds of projects from grassroots to national and international levels, which earned her the title ‘The General’ and ‘The Mobilizer’ among CSO circles. 

She was also a former Public Relations Officer (PRO), Students Union Government (SUG) of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in Osun State.

A statement by the Communication Manager of WARDC, Wemimo Adewumi, said the selection by Spotlight Initiative is a true testament to her dedication over two decades, to fighting for the rights of women and girls in Nigeria. 

According to Spotlight Initiative, after an intense review of 140 applications, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi has been selected as one of 17 members of the Spotlight Initiative Global Reference Group. 

Adewumi said she will work with other global leaders across continents to bring a bigger fight against all forms of violence against women and girls by advising and holding Spotlight Initiative accountable to its commitments to civil society organizations.

She said, "Spotlight Initiative is a European Union and United Nations Secretary-General Flagship Initiative, a global partnership to eliminate violence against women and girls, working across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific. 

"Spotlight Initiative responds to all forms of violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, trafficking, sexual and economic exploitation, and other harmful practices.

"We congratulate Dr Akiyode-Afolabi and excitedly look forward to the great impact she will make in this new assignment, as always."
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