In commemoration of the International Women’s Day, IWD, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, condemned all forms of violence against women and girls, vulnerable persons and People with Disabilities, PWDs.
She said this on the sideline of a Church Service to mark the 2020 IWD held in SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Nyanya, Abuja.
IWD is annually celebrated around the world to bring to the fore, issues that affect women and girls, which also hinder their rights to attaining their potential.
Issues such as Gender-Based Violence, gender inequality, child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation and other harmful practices against women and girls have been seen as acts contrary to the rights of the female gender.
Ms Tallen said “women issues are so real and cannot be ignored and they contribute more than 60 per cent to national development of this country from the home front to the national level, yet she is not recognised.
“We need to draw more attention to issues concerning women and children, particularly the girl-child.”
The minister said that the government would also not neglect vulnerable persons like widows, orphans, destitute and PWDs in promoting gender equality, adding that authorities would focus on women empowerment and address gender-based violence.
She reiterated the government’s commitment toward promoting girl-child education, which she said would contribute immensely to national development and reduce all forms of violence against women and girls in society.
She urged stakeholders to also contribute toward promoting gender equality and ending violence against women and girls.
She added that “women have been talking for too long by themselves, we need to engage the men to also speak against anything that affects us.”
She also condemned situations where children roam the streets, noting that “every child has a right to be in school.”
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, stressed the need to end all forms of injustices and violence meted out on women, girls and vulnerable persons in the society.
He said “we should strive to complement each other. We are praying that women get equal opportunity, whether politically, culturally, economically, in all aspects of life.
“Let there be fairness, let women be held in dignity and also everybody has a right to be happy, live with dignity,” he said.
Mary Ekpere-Eta, the Director-General, National Centre for Women Development, NCWD, said women were more politically conscious and participate actively in governance and national development.
She added that “though there is dwindling participation of women in elections, we hope there will be an improvement in 2023.”
Mrs Ekpere-Eta, therefore, stressed the need for women to be empowered, which she said would enable them to participate actively in all issues affecting them and also promote to national development.