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No Gender Should Be Relegated To The Background- Says Odumakin

According to him, the country specifically ranked 79 on “Economic Participation and Opportunity”; 140 on “Educational Attainment”; 132 on “Health and Survival”; and 139 on “Political Empowerment”.

Rights activist and President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Joe Odumakin, has blamed the persistent issue of gender inequality on the long-standing tradition of patriarchal supremacy in the Nigerian society.

Odumakin was the keynote speaker at the Big Ideas Podium organized by the African Heritage Institution with the theme “Gender Disparity and Underdevelopment in Nigeria.

She said it was sad to note that women are treated with so much contempt in the Nigerian society and confronted with myriads of issues which over the years, have reduced their worth, noting that the time has come for a change.

According to her, women in Nigeria, have been subjected to different kinds of violence, both at home and in the society, making it difficult for them to fully utilize their God-given potentials.

She noted that women are largely non-existence in the Nigerian political climate because they are presumed to be weak and incapable of making decisions that will positively affect lives.

She regretted that adult women, for instance, account for almost half of all human trafficking victims detected globally, a situation which gives a huge course for worry and should be addressed urgently.

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On the way forward, she suggested the establishment of a Gender Equity Commission as part of efforts to end the enduring challenge of gender disparity in the country, adding that there has to be serious movement henceforth if we are determined to put an end to this scourge.

“The obvious discrimination against the womenfolk will not end without the proper education of women, establishment of gender equity commission, equal political representation, and decision-making as well as end to violence against women and trafficking,” she said.

She said a legislative body will exist to monitor due compliance of gender commitments by the state governments including 35% women representation at all levels in line with national policy.

She maintained that gender-balancing in leadership, for instance, will serve as veritable catalyst for development as it will make the society look wealthier, improve freedom.

“Every generation has its vision and mission and it is our duty to either fulfil or betray it. We can only fulfil our own part of the mission by giving our women the opportunity to function in the socio-economic and political space” she said.

Speaking further, she said “no gender should be relegated to the background because no population that leaves part of its population behind thrives exponentially”.

Earlier in his address, the Executive Director of AfriHeriatage, Ufo Okeke-Uzodike explained that Nigeria is a signatory to different human rights documents, yet, the long-standing challenge of gender inequality persists.

He noted that Nigeria, for instance, is one of the few countries that scored lower overall in the 2018 edition of the Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum, ranking 133 globally out of 149 countries assessed.

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According to him, the country specifically ranked 79 on “Economic Participation and Opportunity”; 140 on “Educational Attainment”; 132 on “Health and Survival”; and 139 on “Political Empowerment”.

He said that Nigeria needs Social Transformation that would give women the chance to contribute to the growth and development of the country by utilizing their potentials.

He, however, regretted that decision-maker in the country has been rather too slow in championing the ambitions of the national constitution which is founded on the ideals of Freedom, Equality, and Justice.

“The net effect for all is that Nigeria has remained a shell of the country that it can be if only it chooses to embrace social inclusion, especially with regard to women” he maintained.

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