2023 IWD: Gender equality key to all round development,says NHRC

As the global community celebrates the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD), the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chief Tony Ojukwu OFR,SAN has again harped on the imperatives of gender equality, saying that it holds the key to all-round development in every facet of the society.

A statement by Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, the Deputy Director Public Affairs NHRC said Ojukwu stated this on the eve of the 2023 IWD celebration.

Ojukwu pointed out that it is high time the issue of gender equality and gender inclusiveness defined the way our society is governed because it is obvious that gender discrimination usually comes with a lot of denials to the detriment of the society as women with great talents and potentials are neglected merely on the basis of gender.

“However, women’s prudence in resource management and developmental skills cannot be overemphasized, therefore they unarguably remain the pillars of our future, given the enabling environment and opportunity; women have the potential to turn things around to make the world great and a better place for everyone to live in”, he stated.

According to the Chief Human Rights Officer of Nigeria, the theme of this year’s commemoration, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality “Gender equality” is very apt considering the proven capacity of women in diverse fields of life such as medicine, pharmacy, digital technology, engineering and literature just to mention a few.

Therefore, entrenching the policy of affirmative action will not be a misplaced priority because it will provide the opportunity for those women who were hitherto relegated to the background in the so-called men’s world to spring surprises that will take the society to greater heights.

“Nigerian women and other women elsewhere have on different occasions proven that they can perform excellently in drawing policies and making decisions that could turnaround the society; therefore they should be encouraged to unleash their best potentials for the development of the entire society”, the Executive Secretary added.

While condemning the inability of the National Assembly to pass landmark legislations on women during the constitutional reforms, he used the opportunity of 2023 International Women’s Day to once more call on the federal lawmakers to consider and pass the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, CEDAW Domestication Bill and other bills supporting affirmative action like has happened in other developing countries in Africa, saying it will reduce gender-based violations and legally equip women to challenge the inequalities confronting them including Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) which has continued to rear its ugly head in the society.

He said the Commission will continue to promote women’s rights in the country. “We have put different measures in place to address the issues relating to violence against women, even as he encouraged Nigerian women to remain focused on the struggle to achieve affirmative action.