Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Sen. Helen Esuene has urged female delegates at the ongoing national conference to focus on issues that will improve women’s health and education.
Esuene told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on recently that since the last national conference in 2005, women were still under-represented in all political structures in Nigeria.
The senator said that although women had participated actively in politics in the country, they had nothing to show for it except to mobilise for the electoral success of other people.
She said that much had been said about gender imbalance, violence against women, girl-child education, rape and other problems of women, but little had been done to address them.
Esuene, (PDP-Akwa-Ibom South) observed that Nigeria still ranked low where women participation in parliament was concerned.
“We have only 6.8 per cent of women in the legislature, compared to Mauritania (22.3 per cent), Malawi (24. 4 per cent) and Uganda (35 per cent).
“Advancing women issues, such as health and education, should therefore be our watchword, this will help our women to live a better and meaningful life..
“Education of young girls, improved healthcare and provision for women are things that the delegates should focus on.
“I want them to brainstorm on ideas that would improve the lives of women and girls, education of the girl-child should be a primary focus,” she said.
Esuene said the bill seeking elimination of discrimination against women would soon be passed by the National Assembly; noting that passing it into law would address many women’s issues.
She said the senate was working to amend the Child Rights Act to provide support for children abandoned due to conflict or war, saying there is an increase in child abandonment.