From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi has called on all Women and the Government of Nigeria to ensure that the struggle for Gender Equality in Nigeria becomes a reality .
Against the backdrop of the global celebration of the World Women day , the country Director while fielding questions from Journalists stated that “The year 2020 commemoration of the International Women’s Day marks 25 years since the Fourth World Conference for Women and the Beijing Platform for Action.
ActionAid Nigeria, which is a human rights, non -governmental organization working to combat poverty and all forms of injustice in Nigeria noted that the social – economic , cultural and political emancipation of the female gender should be a concern to all.
She said though some progress has been made, but real change has been agonizingly slow for most women and girls in Nigeria lamenting at the several obstacles in law and culture which according to her predisposes women to multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces.
The Director disclosed that alot of women continue to suffer the burden of unpaid care and domestic work which have made them to represent the face of poverty in Nigeria.
According to her ” We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to fast-track the reduction of women’s labour by working towards the provision of Gender Responsive Public Services in recognition of women’s contribution to economy and national development.”
” We also implore all Nigerian Women to take action individually and collectively because our individual and collective actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. Together, we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.”
” As we commemorate, we call on all women groups to start to raise a new generation of young women advocates who will remain torchbearers for the struggle and we implore all Nigerian women never to stay quiet in the face of oppression and discrimination as experienced recently in Cross River state where Akon Ikpeme was denied the rightful position of Substantive Chief Judge based on her state of Origin.”
” The constructive reaction of Nigerian women groups over the case is commendable and should be emulated. We also urge government at all levels to regulate, subsidize or provide public transport; promote laws and public campaigns to eliminate discrimination and violence against women and girls.”
She enjoined Governments to ensure that women participate equally and meaningfully in all processes around designing, legislating and budgeting, not just for their safety but for national development.