- The solution to upgrading the status of women in Nigeria is the passage of the Gender Equality Bill into law, a former aviation minister has said
- Dr Kema Chikwe challenged women in Nigeria to participate in activities aimed at ensuring national development
- Also speaking, a former deputy governor of CBN said that family, society and the nation would be better if women had equal opportunities as men
Former minister of aviation Dr Kema Chikwe, on Sunday, April 22, urged Nigerian women to pressurise the National Assembly into passing the Gender Equality Bill into law.
The former minister said that doing so would go a long way towards the liberation of women.
Chikwe, also a former Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, was speaking at a symposium organised by The Women International’s (TWI) Circle Forum in Lagos. The theme of the symposium was, “What Do Women in Nigeria Lack?”.
“The solution to upgrading the status of women in Nigeria is the passage of the bill. Political and non-political women actors must rise up to ensure the bill is passed. Women are docile. Women have to be strong for us to have a better society. It is not easy; we need individual courage and power to work together to ensure passage of the bill in the National Assembly.
“Women need to reinforce themselves by organising more conferences in the struggle to liberate Nigerian women. There’s so much lip service about women in Nigerian politics,” the national women leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said.
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Chikwe further urged women to participate in activities aimed at ensuring national development. She advised women to unite in a bid to end gender disparity. According to her, in spite of the advocacy and sensitisation efforts, African women still face a lot of challenges.
She said that Nigerian women were still lacking education, good healthcare, love, courage, self-esteem, freedom, individual initiative, and power, among others. She added that women in Nigeria lacked equal opportunities with their male counterparts.
Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), also speaking at the symposium says cultural biases in the society that prevent male political leaders from giving women equal opportunities should be done away with.
“I think we should end that, so that our society can prosper," Moghalu said.
Moghalu, who was a keynote speaker at the event, said that family, society and the nation would be better if women had equal opportunities as men. "It is in our best interest to address the issue of gender equality,” the professor said.
He said women should be given the same consideration as men based on their competence and qualification. Moghalu, who has declared his interest in running for the presidency in 2019, said women are critical to national development.
“Women should be given equal opportunities like men, I don’t agree with 30 per cent for women,” he said.
He expressed displeasure that only six per cent of the nation’s parliamentarians are women, describing it as unfortunate. According to him, women in Nigeria should strive to be like those in Rwanda where females made up 56 per cent of those in parliament.
Moghalu highlighted some other challenges facing women as education, access to finance, and violence against women, among others.
The presidential aspirant, who expressed commitment to gender parity, said he would announce the political party under which he would contest in May.
He urged women to challenge laws that suppress them, and to vote out any legislator impeding passage of the Gender Equally Bill before the National Assembly.
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NAIJ.com previously reported that a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, officially declared to run for the president of Nigeria in the 2019 elections.
Moghalu, who announced this on Wednesday, February 28, in a press conference at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, said a combination of military rule, oil booms and busts, and successive leadership failures of the political class have robbed the country “of what seemed our destiny at independence.”
Moghalu, 55, was born in Lagos state, southwest of Nigeria.
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