Activities on IHRLG's annual Days of Action, conducted in July or August of each year since 1999, have varied from country to country and included public symposia, marches, press conferences, media appearances and strategic meetings with key government figures. These activities have resulted in unparalleled media, public and government attention to the issue of inheritance rights.
IHRLG and our local partners in Nigeria marked the 2000 Day of Action by organizing a symposium with local women's groups at the British Council in Nigeria. The symposium brought together more than 100 participants, including lawyers, magistrates, high court judges, journalists, teachers, traders and students to discuss inheritance rights concerns. Human rights activists also visited the Enugu State House of Assembly, urging members of the Assembly to address the systematic discrimination and marginalization of women in Nigeria and to pass two pending bills addressing women's rights to equal inheritance. Our partner activists in Togo, Liberia, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo also organized a variety of public outreach and legislative advocacy activities on the 2000 Day.
To mark the third annual Day of Action for Women's Inheritance Rights, IHRLG's Nigeria team and the Women's Aid Collective (Enugu) planned three days of advocacy and public outreach. Activities included
- Visiting with traditional leaders (Igwes), consultations with members of the Enugu State House of Assembly.
- Conducting an NGO forum on grassroots mobilizing around women's inheritance rights (and its relationship to the larger issues of women's empowerment and participation in political processes).
- Hosting an international fact-finding mission lead by Singleton McAllister, former General Counsel of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Mission delegates met with disinherited widows and daughters from five countries to hear their testimonies. In one testimony, a widow voiced her experience of being forced from the land her husband gave her prior to his death by his extended family. With no crops to sell, she could no longer send her three daughters to school.
IHRLG's Democratic Republic of Congo team and our local partner, the Ligue Congolaise des Droits et Développement de la Femme, brought together 18 Congolese NGOs for a workshop on how to address problems caused by customary practices and/or Congolese legislation that discriminate against widows.
For more information contact Africa@hrlawgroup.org