The President, Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has called for more advocacy on the National Gender Policy aimed at promoting 35 per cent affirmative action for women in all governance processes.
Bulkachuwa, who was represented by Justice Tinuke Akomolafe-Wilson, gave the advice at the launching of a pictorial Book, titled ‘The Nigerian Woman’, in honour of Nigerian woman summit in Abuja.
“The call for the advocacy is because several studies have shown a strong connection between women ability to participate in governance.
“The steady advancement of women in contributing to the nation’s socio economic development and their progressive prominence in national scheme of affairs has to large extent impacted on the Federal Government.
“The Nigerian woman is the key to the realisation of the Nigerian dreams,” she said.
Bulkachuwa said women could effectively participate in policy making and governance, if given the chance.
Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, Department of Economics, University of Abuja, also called for passing into law, the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other international conventions laws on gender.
She said the passage of the laws would eliminate all socio cultural, economic and political barriers that constraint women.
“Property ownership and inheritance laws, tax reforms, labour, and credit laws should be modified to be gender sensitive.
“Various motivational strategies should be used to encourage women participation in education.
” This will reduce, if not eliminated completely, inhibiting factors on women such as low income, inferior social style, ill health, dogmatism, cases of early marriage and low level of aspirations, ” Anyanwu said.
She also said women association and Ministries of Education should set aside special grants for mass women’s growth and development.
Anyanwu said regular capacity building for women became imperative for them to acquire relevant vocational skills, entrepreneurship and sources of funding.
She, however, said the book on women achievement should be celebrated using various channels, adding that the project on the 36 governors should be properly acknowledged.
The book reviewer, Mr Sonnie Nwosu, said in building a nation, the role of woman could not be overemphasised.
“When you build a girl-child, you are automatically building a nation that will be prosperous in all ramifications.
” If equality is given to women through access to education, training and empowerment, dignified work and equal representation in political and economic decisions, sustainable economy will be driven and benefit our society,’’ he said.
The Project Coordinator of Book, and one of the authors of the book, Mr Kangama Haruna, said women had been relegated to background.
He, however, stressed the need to give much recognition to the contribution of women in view of their importance to nation building.