I am Generation Equality: Doris Innocent, Lawyer and Women’s rights advocate
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Doris Innocent. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo
I am Generation Equality because…
I started working in the Civic Space in 2018, and it has been an amazing journey working on gender and women’s issues. Whenever I interact with women and girls, I see a group of people who are blessed with potentials and expressions but are mostly unaware of their capabilities, their rights, and the possibilities that they carry. So many women suffer untold hardship and abuse and in many places are treated as second class citizens. That is why I speak up for women to help them realize that they can be more, deserve respect, love and equal opportunities.
Urgent actions for equality
There are several and include being deprived of having body autonomy, which has led to rape and sexual violence cases, female genital mutilation, and all forms of gender-based violence in (physical, emotional and financial). I believe that consistent advocacy and raising awareness will lead to the empowerment of both men and women for a better future for all.
Advise to my peers…
Young people should become ambassadors of gender equality. If they actively drive the process of gender equality and equity, we will see positive social change in all spheres of life.
We all must take up the responsibility of sharing information on these issues and advocate for gender equality at every level, starting with our own spheres of influence. We all must speak up against perpetrators and ensure that justice is served to survivors.
Men should be part of the solution by advocating for gender equality in their different communities by holding other men accountable when they abuse or treat women unfairly.
Why everyone should be a women’s rights activist…
First, women are nation builders and when they are given better opportunities they perform excellently. All over the world, women are pacesetters and if we continue to let women thrive, our communities will thrive too. The second reason is to reinforce a quote from Nelson Mandela: “Thus shall we live, because we will have created a society which recognizes that all people are born equal, with each entitled in equal measure to life, liberty, prosperity, human rights and good governance.”
Doris Innocent is a lawyer working in Benue State, Nigeria. Her practice is focused on Human Rights with a passion for empowering survivors of gender-based violence.