By Funmi Olasupo
Abuja – Moves to eradicate poverty by 2030 with the Post 2015 Development Goals (DG), set to be unveiled at the United Nations in September this year, will be realize if issues of girls and women is prioritize, the ONE Campaign group has said. Speaking at the launch of ‘Poverty is Sexist Campaign’ in Abuja, the Executive Director of ONE Africa, Dr.Sipho Moyo stressed that efforts should be directed where the need is greatest, in both the poorest countries, to boost the prospects of girls and women, who are disproportionately affected.
This therefore point on the need for Nigeria and other African nations to refocus more on the development agenda on gender equality. This she said will serve as a means of unleashing the potential for human, social, political and economic development. She opined that the benefits of investing in girls and women will be felt across the nation saying; “the evidence shows that the social return of investing in girls and women accrues universall to boys and men too.
“This being the African Union Year of Women Empowerment, it is our opportunity to seize and promote the advancement of humankind by insisting on policy interventions by our African governments that promote and ensure equal opportunities for women and girls.” Moyo said. Also speaking, Director General, National Center for Women Development, NCWD, Lady Onyeka Onwenu who joined the advocacy said although, progress is being made in women empowerment but there is still more to be done.
According to Lady Onyeka, political parties still do not accord women the opportunity to vie for political offices saying that women are ill represented. “Political parties have not given women the opportunities to vie for office. Laws are made in the Senate and House of Representatives – but women are not properly represented there.
“We must ensure that all political parties take into consideration that women are marginalized. Our constitution must ensure this by prescribing a minimum number of seats for women.” she said. The campaign which was launched at a policy forum was also attended by representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Equity Advocates and Save the Children Nigeria among others. Also adding their voice to the campaign are; Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Omawunmi and D’banj.