As Nigeria joins the global community to celebrate the 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD), the National Human Rights Commission has enjoined the Federal Government and other stakeholders to prioritize the education and empowerment of women and the girl child to enable them attain their full potentials in life.
The Ag. Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq who made this call in Abuja stated that women are making tremendous impact in re-engineering the society but regretted that the authorities were yet to fully bring women to the mainstream of policy and decision making.
The Ag Executive Secretary said the theme of this year’s celebration “press for progress” is apt as it encourages all stakeholders to take positive steps that will better the lives of women and put them in a vantage position to be able to contribute their quota to nation building.
Mr. Ojukwu used the opportunity to urge the federal government, military and other law enforcement agencies to put measures in place to forestall abduction of school girls and other vulnerable members of the public.
He regretted the recent abduction of 110 girls at Federal Science and Technical School Dapchi, in Yobe State, saying it remains a sour point in the history of our dear country. The female schools in the endemic areas could be managed to provide better security or the female boarding schools can be converted to day schools with improved security arrangements can be made, he suggested.
“Furthermore, the Commission proposes to partner with stakeholders to advocate that some quota be reserved for women in the guideline of political parties to boost women participation in elective offices during the 2019 general elections. This can be supported by legislation later to ensure that a certain percentage of women occupy elective offices in Nigeria”, he added.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Commission also decried the high rate of violence against women with reference to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) stating that despite government’s intervention, the trend has continued to rise. He therefore called for synergy among stakeholders to fight this trend by ensuring that the practice is completely abolished.
The Acting NHRC Boss further stated that the Commission is developing a manual on integrating FGM indicators into Nigerian’s human rights treaty reporting template/ mechanism. The manual will seek to promote and protect the human rights of women in Nigeria, particularly their sexual and reproductive rights.