Nigerian leaders call for gender equality on International Women’s Day

FILE PHOTO: Women used to illustrate story

The wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has appealed to all stakeholders to work towards ensuring the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

This, she said, will aid the objective of sustainable development goals.

Mrs Buhari made the appeal on Wednesday in a statement released to celebrate the International Women’s Day.

She said “This year’s theme, Be Bold for Change, encourages taking ground-breaking action that drives the greatest change for women; accelerating gender parity and helping women advance and unleash their limitless potential.

“It is imperative to appeal to all stakeholders, governments at all levels to rise to the global challenge of ensuring the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in line with the objective of sustainable development goals,” she said.

Mrs. Buhari also used the opportunity to reaffirm her commitment to the cause of women through her initiative “Future Assured” from which thousands of women and children have benefitted.

The Acting President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, in a statement said the Buhari administration remains committed to ensuring the protection of all women from all forms of gender-based violence in the country.

He said Nigerian women will live to fulfil their aspirations in a peaceful and prosperous country.

In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki said that “the Day presented an opportunity for every Nigerian to recognise and celebrate the talent and achievement of women and girls.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Gender Advocacy, Fatima Kakuri, Mr. Saraki called on Nigerian women to be “bold for change’’ and work towards redefining opportunities for future generations of women.

“In everything that we do, we need to be bold for change. We need to challenge bias and inequality by standing up when women are excluded from positions of leadership,’’ he said

The International Women’s Day is celebrated every March 8 throughout the world to commemorate the struggle for women’s right.

In same development, ​the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Sani Aliyu, called for gender equality as the world marks the International Women Day.

Mr. Aliyu said gender inequality issues are key drivers of HIV/AIDS epidemic in several ways as women currently constitute 59 per cent of HIV positive individuals.

He, however, encouraged women to be bold today and beyond by taking that bold step to speed up gender parity and truly drive the greatest change for women.

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“Be Bold to know Your HIV Status. Make positive changes to live a positive and healthy life if you are HIV positive and if you are not, then stay negative by learning how to protect yourself from HIV infection”, he added.

In his message, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said that Nigeria as a country must invest heavily on girl child education as a means of bridging the gap in school enrolment statistics between boys and girls and disparity in literacy levels.

Mr. Dogara maintained that gender should not restrict the dreams and aspirations of millions of “our daughters, so we all must be bold for change and support the women around us to achieve their goals and maximise their potentials and talents

Also, Cleen foundation, a non-governmental organisation, urged lawmakers and security agencies to curb the rate at which women and girls suffer domestic and sexual violence.

It stated that 2016 particularly saw an increase in the media of reports of domestic violence that led to the deaths of women.

In his message, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, assured Rivers women that his administration will continue to be women-friendly as it strives to develop the state.

He noted that women are strategically placed in his administration to help in translating the tenets of the New Rivers Development Blueprint into reality.

He also felicitated with women across the globe for their roles in the promotion of peace, development and societal stability.

The Olomu of Omu-Aran, Charles Ibitoye, in his message appealed to government at all levels to strive to encourage more young women, especially in tertiary institutions, to embrace agriculture as a course, profession and vocation

He stated that agriculture remains a veritable platform for achieving the desired economic diversification envisioned for the country.

He said a situation where farming was being categorised as a business for men could be a stumbling block to government’s’ effort at transforming the sector.


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