By Ignatius Ushie
As the world continue to commemorate the international Women’s day. Nigerian women has joined it’s counterpart across the world to mark the CSW65 Session in Nigeria. With the theme: Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal Future in a COVID-19 World.
At an event in Abuja, the United Nations (UN) has called on the Nigerian women to stand up to the task and aim at high Leadership positions especially in the political spheres, adding that unless significant barriers to achieving gender equality are removed, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs), will continue to be a mirage and not attainable. According to the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon who made this known at the marking of the 65th Commission on the Status of Women, (CSW), which held in Abuja.
Kallon who spoke on behalf of the UN system in Nigeria, said that less than five percent of total women participation in politics in Nigeria is unacceptable because of the devastating implications it portends such as continued inequality, gender based violence and poor quality of living among others.
Kallon who was represented by the UN Women and ECOWAS representative to Nigeria, Comfort Lamptey, said ;”In Nigeria, women currently occupy less than five percent of elective officer at the federal level because they face overwhelming resistance to their political participation including violence that are gender based religious and cultural norms and the lack of adequate financial resources to fund election campaigns.
Today’s dialogues is a unique opportunity for building convergence among governments, civil society and technical and financial partners hence providing a platform for Nigeria to examine achievements and challenges.”
She said; “Gender based violence against women and girls as some of the significant barriers that could prevent the achievement of the SDGs at the global, regional, national and sub national levels.”
While asking the senate president to keep to his word of giving consideration to a legal framework that ensures women political stance in the the proposed constitution amendment, he also said that the CSW remains a critical instrument for promoting the rights of women, documenting the realities of women’s lives throughout the world, and women’s global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women because it plays a leading role in the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action and for the first time in history, it is being localised due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame. Pauline Tallen who expressed confidence that come 2023, the Nigerian Women sure smile and gain more political position, hence they are not discouraged but rather continue to impact their various communities and contribute to National Development.
According to the minister, “Since the declaration of the Beijing Platform for Action, the government has continued to address women’s issues from all angles including politics, legislation and regulations to promote safetyof lives and property while building sustainable systems.
Trusting on President Muhammadu Buhari’s promises, I am confident that come 2023, Nigerian women would have cause to smile and from the look of things, women’s presence in the next election will reflect a positive change as we are fine tuning strategies to breach out to the political parties.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Ambassador Anthonia Akpabio Ekpa, represented by a Director in the Ministry, Jumai Mohammed attributed the low turnout to Advent of COVID-19 but call for more synergy among the women folks if they must advance in political and leadership positions.
Good will messages from the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Esan, traditional rulers, Civil Society and women groups were the high point of the event.
She commended the president for his support and promises which made to women even as he lends his voice to the current amendment of the constitution in favour of women’s political and leadership participation.