…commits to gender mainstreaming, women empowerment
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that Nigeria and other developing countries would need to rejig their developmental models to accommodate more women if they are to record substantial progress and harness the full potential of their human resources.
The governor said that Edo State has shown the light in this regard with his prioritisation of women in development shown through robust gender mainstreaming policies and programmes as well as the enactment of laws that protect women and other vulnerable persons from abuse.
The governor, who said this in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IDW), celebrated every March 8, by the United Nations and its sister organs, urged developing countries to prioritise women development to unleash their potential.
The governor said that this year’s theme for the celebration, Think equal, build smart, innovate for change, is not only apt but aligns with the state government’s enduring policies on gender balance and equality, noting, “The celebration is something we look forward to every year because we value our women in Edo and have worked to empower them. We have demonstrated this by appointing an adviser on gender and assistants in all the local government areas of the state to interface with women and ensure that their affairs are brought to the limelight.”
The governor also said that the state government has enacted the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Law to mitigate abuse in homes and protect vulnerable people in society, stressing, “We are very particular about violence against persons in Edo State because we care about our people dearly. That is why with the VAP, women and other vulnerable persons will be protected by the law.
“We have empowered women through science and technology, by training them on innovation and technology at the Edo Innovation Hub. At the same time, we are opening up the space for women to participate in development by expanding the space for representation and participation through our Ward Development Committees (WDC),” he said.
The governor added that his administration believes that women should be given the front seat in development as reflected in the fact that a good number of women hold key positions in the state, noting, “We are also very committed to advancing gender mainstreaming because we are certain that women have a lot to contribute to society.”
According to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, Gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. We can only re-establish trust in institutions, rebuild global solidarity and reap the benefits of diverse perspectives by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all.
“In recent decades, we have seen remarkable progress on women’s rights and leadership in some areas. But these gains are far from complete or consistent – and they have already sparked a troubling backlash from an entrenched patriarchy.”