The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq says that women’s participation in governance at all levels plays a critical role in the sustainable development of the country.
The Minister made this known in a goodwill message at the 65th UN Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held on Monday at the Army Resource Center Abuja.
Umar Farouq said that the inclusion of women in all levels of governance will enable the building of governance structures that are fair, equitable and a representative of women across all sectors in the country.
“Achieving this will entail concerted efforts in policy making, capacity-building on gender mainstreaming and continuous engagement with all actors and stakeholders, so that we are able to tackle the root cause of all forms of discrimination against women, particularly in the area of leadership and gender-based violence”.
Umar Farouq described this year’s theme which focuses on women’s participation and decision-making in public life and the elimination of violence against women as apt, considering the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gender-based violence.
“Reports have also shown a spike in unpaid care work, where women bear the brunt of children-out-of-school, heightened care needs of older persons and re-prioritised health care services. With women primarily at the receiving end of the socio-economic effects of the pandemic, having more women in leadership and governance could not be more urgent”
The Minister called on women in position to use their influence to advocate for women’s rights in all spheres of public life.
“Critical also, is the need to pave the way for participation of the younger generation of women and girls, achievable by strengthening political commitment and fostering collaboration for the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 5 which is to Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls”.
In her keynote address, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen who convened the Programme noted the progress covered by women in Nigeria since the Beijing Declaration 26 years ago.
Dame Tallen thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the support given to women for political positions in 2023.
“In 2023, women will have cause to smile. We will push for the amendment of the constitution in APC for more women to participate in politics. This will help modify strategies to help those who want to take part in politics.
“Education and Empowerment of Women are essential ingredients for repositioning, therefore, we call on women in position to reach out to young and aspiring women in the communities and raise women politicians for the future”.
The theme for this year’s session is ‘Women’s Full and Effective Participation and Decision-making in Public Life as well as the Elimination of Violence, For Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of all Women and Girls’.