Doctor Eleanor Nwadinobi smiles after giving a speech on the many shade of violence against women and girls in Sinclair Laboratory on March 19, 2024. The talk was hosted by Africana Studies, WGSS, COH, CGE and DEI. (Amanda Rowan/B&W Staff)

Doctor speaks on global violence against women


Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi is a Nigerian medical professional and president of the Medical Women’s International Association, visited Lehigh March 19 to present on the many shades of violence against women and girls around the globe. 

She is well known for her extensive work in addressing and combating violence against women and girls. 

Nwadinobi has been fighting for a global treaty to end this violence for 40 years. During her presentation, she focused on the various solutions to combat and hopefully end gender-based violence. 

She said a whole-of-society and a whole-of-government approach is needed to see progress. Change can only be enacted if individual societies work together to change their cultural norms while the government of each country passes legislation to end violence against women and girls.

Nwadinobi outlined the five specific areas to her approach: legal action; training for doctors, police and anyone whom a victim of violence might turn to; bolstering survivor support services; early-stage prevention; and dedicating funding. 

She said the only way change can happen is if everyone plays their part — whether it be writing or raising awareness about the gender-based violence occurring daily across the globe.

“Elbows locked in, using our different skills and strengths we can make a change together,” Nwadinobi said.

Kwame Essien, a professor of Africana Studies, said he hopes his students will take action in their own lives after the presentation. He also said some of his students have already approached him asking how they can help.

Kyla Branco, ‘25, attended the lecture and said she was so inspired by Nwadinobi’s presentation that, following the event, she went online to start researching how she could make a difference.

“We have the special opportunity to advocate for women and girls who may be silenced by the system and the oppressor,” Branco said. “We must use our privilege to stand up for those who are affected so that we can break this cycle of oppression and violence that has been experienced by women and girls for centuries.”

Essien said the ratification of a global treaty is of utmost importance.

“I think it’s so important to have a treaty or some type of mutual agreement in the whole world about specific ways to protect against violence,” Essien said. “To protect young girls and women is something that is urgently needed.”

Nwadinobi said one of the ways she stays hopeful is by seeing younger generations getting involved and bringing innovative ideas to the movement. 

She said Lehigh, as a united community, has the potential to spark a new wave of activism toward violence against women.

“If from Lehigh University, we stand as one and say, ‘This type of violence against women and girls must stop,’ you could start something new,” Nwadinobi said.

Nwadinobi ended her presentation with a prayer and a call to action. She urged everyone to go to to sign up and join the call for a global treaty to eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls. 

“May we never allow the evil of violence against women and girls become a tradition,” Nwadinobi said, “Our strength is in our togetherness.” 

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