By Laide Akinboade
ABUJAâ€” Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, has said Nigerian women have to do more in promoting gender related issues especially issues that concern women.
Akunyili who stated this yesterday at the African Regional Conference organised by ThirdÂ World Organisation for Women in Science (TWOWS),Â in Abuja, said it was imperative for women to come together and defend the rights of women in Nigeria.
The theme of the four-day conference is “Gender and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”
According to her, â€œI am using this opportunity to remind you all that we still need to do more to promote all gender related issues on women as they relate to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is our primary duty to send our girls to schools, expose them to information technology and other areas that enhance their development.
â€œI urge you to stand up to your rights as women and defend these rights anywhere. You must work and push doggedly to ensure that the goals and objectives of the MDGs as they relate to gender issues are respected.Â In Nigeria we are still battling to reduce maternal mortality,â€ she said.
Akunyili said her dream was to see women encouraging one another and unite to make a sustainable and meaningful development, adding: â€œThe advancement of the role of women in achieving the MDGs must not be in Nigeria alone but also in the whole of the African Region.â€
The Minister, who was represented on the occasion by Director, Public Relations and Protocol in the ministry, Mrs. Ngozi Okwuogu, said increase in the percentage of educated women had encouraged access to science and technology and enhanced greater involvement in governance in the country.
Some personalities including the Governor of Delta State,Â Chief Emmanuel Uduaghan; Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili; former Vice-Chancellor of University of Benin, Professor Alele Williams; Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Dr. Pauline Tallen, amongst others were presented with different awards on the occasion.