Women’s rights advocates led by the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, have restated the need for gender equality in leadership positions, describing this as a fundamental way to advance human capacity and development.
This formed the core of discussion at the ‘Nigerian home grown’ 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) organised by the women affairs ministry on the theme: Institutionalising women’s equal and increased participation in leadership, governance and decision making – case studies and reflections from Nigeria and Africa at the Nigerian Army Resource Center in Abuja.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, decried the low participation of women in political offices and decision making positions in Nigeria.
Represented by the UN Women Country Representative Ms Comfort Lamptey, Kallon noted that Nigerian women face resistance in their political participation, hence, legislative reforms were needed to support their political inclusion.
According to him, unless significant barriers to achieving gender equality were removed, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs), will continue to be elusive.
“In Nigeria, women currently occupy less than five percent of elected offices at the federal level because they face overwhelming resistance to their political participation including through violence, gender based, religious and cultural norms and the lack of adequate financial resources to fund election campaigns.
“Today’s dialogue 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,” he said.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, launched a video titled “Generational Equality – “No Woman, No Naija” to serve as an anthem to encourage women’s participation in politics come 2023.
Tallen tasked women in positions to support and mentor the girl child as a way of sustaining the achievement made in women participation in public life, encouraging them to keep contributing their quota towards national development.