As the world marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a non-governmental organisation based in Abuja, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, has called for eradication of all forms of discrimination against women.
Addressing the media in commemoration of the 2018 IWD, yesterday in Abuja, President of the Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said the Day, which is celebrated on March 8, “affords women all over the world the opportunity to address issues affecting women, especially rural women.”
She noted that rural women constituted over a quarter of the world’s population, stressing that the majority of the 43 per cent of women were in the global agricultural labour force.
Ahmadu, who described this year’s theme: “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives” as apt, said: “There is no better time to address myriads of issues faced by women in the country.”
“The Foundation wants to use the Day to draw the attention of government at levels to the plight of women in the society. An average Nigeria woman goes through hardship to feed her family because of disparities in the country.
“Government should, as a matter of urgency, pass every bill that is related to the women as well as look into policies that will better the living standard of the Nigeria women. The rights and privileges of the women should be made paramount as government makes and executes its policies.”
She, however, noted with regret the United Nations reports that less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide are women, while the global pay gap between men and women stands at 23 per cent, in rural areas, affirming that it can be as high as 40 per cent in some cases.
“To address this glaring pay gap between men and women in society, Helpline Foundation is one of the co-host of the on-going United Nations Africa Women Conference in New York. I am happy to inform you that I will join other women across the globe to continue our advocacy on the rights of women.”
She called on other stakeholders to join efforts at ensuring better life for the woman, adding that Helpline Foundation had put several skills acquisition programmes in place to empower rural women.