International Women’s Day: Nigerian Women’s Rights Remain Limited – NGOs

A coalition Nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs) under the aegis of the Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet) has said that Nigerian women’s rights have remained limited in spite of the calls for gender integration in the country’s development pathway.

Mrs Elizabeth Jeiyol, the Chairperson, Gender Thematic Group of CSDevNet, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

He was speaking against the backdrop of the International Women’s day.

The day is marked on March 8 every year as set aside by the United Nations for the celebration of Women’s Rights and International Peace.

This year’s theme is `Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change’.

Jeiyol said that three years into the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nigerian women’s rights, access to land, credit and education still remained limited.

“Not only due to legal discrimination, but through more subtle barriers such as workload, mobility and low bargaining position in the household and community, which prevent them from taking advantage of their legal rights.

“These problems affect their children and households,” she said.

According to her, the purpose of the day is to address infrastructure, systems and frameworks that have been constructed largely in line with a male-defined culture.

“It also recognises the fact that securing peace, social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms requires the active participation, equality and development of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

“It is an occasion to review how far women have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development, and also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilise for meaningful change,’’ she added.

She said that it was the belief at CSDevNet tha this year’s theme represented an invitation to finding innovative ways of re-imagining and rebuilding Nigeria so that it would work for everyone.

“Having Nigerian women decision-makers in areas like urban design, transport and public services will increase women’s access, prevent harassment and violence, and improve the quality of life in Nigeria.

“Nigerian women can be extricated from the relentless cycle of extreme poverty, hunger, high child mortality rate and poor maternal health.

“This will be possible if we all make efforts to ensure that women’s and girls’ needs and experiences are integrated at the very inception of our governance processes and innovative technologies,” she stated.

Jeiyol manitained that Nigeria required innovativeness that would create a paradigm shift from “business as usual” to deliberate efforts that would encourage women and girls to play decisive roles in the development of the country.

“Nigeria urgently requires innovations that disrupt ‘business as usual’, paying attention to how and by whom technology is used and accessed, and ensuring that women and girls play a decisive role in emerging industries.

“From urban planning that focuses on community safety to e-learning platforms that take classrooms to women and girls.

“To affordable and quality childcare centres, and technology shaped by women which will take the race for gender equality to its finishing line by 2030.

“Let us all support women and girls who are breaking down barriers to create a better world for everyone,’’ she added.

About James Ezema

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