The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has advocated for gender equality as a way to foster growth and development of nations, noting that Edo women are solid pillars behind the achievements recorded by his administration in the last three years.
The governor said this in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD) marked every March 8, by the United Nations (UN) and other development organisations across the globe.
Obaseki noted that the doggedness of the women in his cabinet was responsible for the successes recorded by his administration in basic education, healthcare, housing, child protection, and the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration, among others.
Governor Obaseki, however, called on governments at all levels, as well as key stakeholders to intensify efforts aimed at empowering women to enable them to contribute their quota to the development of the society.
According to the governor, “As the world celebrates the International Women’s Day, it is important to stress the contribution of women to national development. But at the same time, it is an opportunity to call for inclusive policies and open space to address issues of gender parity.
“We must all continue to raise our voices against inequality, gender stereotypes and gender oppression in every facet; I call for gender inclusion and equality at all instances. This will make it easier for women to not only reach their full potentials in politics and business but also expand the space for their representation in societal integration and growth.
“For us in Edo, it is imperative that we use this day to celebrate and specially commend our women for their dynamism, doggedness and contributions towards the growth and development of our dear state. It is applaudable that the areas we have made the most improvements are headed by women.”
The governor continued, “Satisfied with their performance and in fulfilment of our campaign promise to ensure 35 per cent inclusiveness for women in governance, my administration recently appointed 40 female aides on gender issues, including 20 Senior Special Assistants and 20 Special Assistants drawn from all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state. We are confident that these appointments will ensure that the womenfolk are given a front-seat role in the decision-making process in their various local council areas so as to ensure that they continue to contribute their quota to the development of the state.”
The governor, who reiterated his administration’s efforts at protecting the girl-child, noted that apart from legislation aimed at protecting women and girls in the state, the Edo State Government has embarked on series of programmes targeted at empowering women at the Edo Innovation Hub and other projects under the Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs).
This year’s celebration, with the theme, “Generation Equality” advocates to end gender-based violence, propagate economic justice, equal rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, equal participation in politics, decision-making in all areas of life, feminist action for justice, innovation for gender equality and feminist leadership.
According to the United Nations, the Generation Equality campaign also aims to bring together women of different ages, gender, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to call for actions that will create a gender-equal world for all Women.