It is with sadness we announce the passing of Dr.(Mrs) Chinwe Uzoma Nnanna-Kalu. She passed away on Monday morning. She fought valiantly to live and to see her children before she passed away.
We asked you to donate money for her hospital bills and her legal defence. Her bill was in excess of NGN3million. We raised NGN90,000. It was enough to file a suit at the Federal High Court Enugu to enforce her fundamental human rights to life and dignity against the hospital and her husband.
We still have NGN30,000 in our fund and we are going to use it to launch the Women’s Legal Defence Trust Fund immediately. The purpose of this fund is to provide a financial pool to litigate the enforcement of women’s and children’s rights within the family, the workplace and the community. The fund needs to be crowd funded and community owned. This isn’t about me. Its about us. Us keeping our homes and our communities safe for women and children.
Uzoma’s case is not isolated. The number of women whose life depends on timely and urgent legal action is large. We need to have a fund available for emergencies. Legislation and policy are important but its equally important to interpret and enforce them in court. The enforcement and protection of women’s rights have suffered for a lack of litigation and the inability of women to litigate cases addressing important issues of law all the way to the Supreme court for interpretation.
The Womens Legal
Defence Trust Fund will cover legal costs in cases that:
1. Need to be filed urgently to save a woman’s life as was the case with Uzoma.
2. Propose innovative legal arguments that enforce women’s constitutionally protected fundamental rights within the family, the workplace and the community and challenge repugnant laws, customs and customary law.
3. Interpret contentious issues of legal practice and procedure that dicriminate against women or place an unreasonable burden of proof on them in civil and criminal trials.
4. Appeal decisions of lower courts that are unfavourable to women’s rights within the family, the workplace and the community.
5. Develop the capacity of the legal practitioners and the legal profession to protect women’s and children’s rights within the family, the workplace and the community.
These actions will broaden the case law on women’s rights, establish precedents and increase the proficiency of lawyers to defend and protect rights of women and children through the judicial system. We honour Chinwe and all the other women who died because our laws did not protect them.
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