Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has called for a network of world leaders, religious groups, civil society organisations, regional think tanks and rights advocates to intensify the clamour for the empowerment of women.
Obaseki, who made the call in Benin City, in commemoration of the World Day for Social Justice, marked on February 20, each year, maintained that “it was time to aggregate the pockets of efforts by state and non-state actors, for a robust framework that would mainstream women empowerment in development, globally.”
He said: “In Africa and other third world countries, inheritance right for women is still a big issue, yet women in these economies contribute significantly to the socio-economic wellbeing of their households.
“We must make the case for the education of the girl child and pursue it vigorously. We must review our laws and social practices that manifestly or latently relegate the interest of women in our contemporary society.”
Commending groups and organisations championing women issues across the globe, the governor tasked world leaders to escalate the campaign and galvanise governments that are neutral, nonchalant or half-hearted towards the empowerment of women, to change their stand.
Citing the progress his administration has made in empowering girls, women and vulnerable people in Edo State, Obaseki said: “We have signed into law, the Violence Against Persons Law, conceived to curtail the incidence of rape, female genital mutilation and other violent acts against girls, women, men and the weak in society.”
He added: “At the Edo Innovation Hub, we have series of empowerment programmes for our youth and we have created over 77,000 direct and indirect jobs for job seekers in the state.”
According to the United Nations, “Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations.
“We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants.
“We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.”
The UN stressed that “the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity,” adding that the adoption by the International Labour Organisation of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation is just one recent example of the UN system’s commitment to social justice.
“The Declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work,” the UN explained.