Participants at the International Women Conference have urged the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to promote more laws, policies and special budgets targeting women and institutions that advance the cause of women.
They made the call at the first International Women Conference, with the theme “Equity versus Equality, Redefining Gender Roles,” organised by Arise Monilisa Foundation (AMF) in Abuja on Monday.
The conference was convoked to celebrate women, especially those that excelled in the male dominated sector.
Zik Okafor, a former National President of Asscoaition of Film Producers, Nigeria, who was a key speaker at the conference, stressed the need for women to be given opportunity to have their voices in the society.
The Chief Executive Officer of Zulu Film noted with concern that women had not been allowed to occupy their rightful places in the political space in Nigeria.
He said that “out of 192 countries Nigeria is number 184 in terms of women participation in politics, it is not a good story.
“From 1999 till date, only 157 women have been elected into the National Assembly in Nigeria, 38 Senators and 119 members of House of Representatives, compare to 2,657 men elected, 616 Senators and 2041 House of Representatives members.
“I think government needs incisive mind set, bold action and commitment, they need to promote more laws, policies, special budgets targeting women and institutions that advance the cause of women.”
According to him, there should also be deliberate and conscious efforts from the government to seriously put an end to gender based violence, secure equal access to quality education, health, economic resources and importantly participation in politics.
“I have no doubt that women are ultra-commitment agents of change and they hold a brand new hope for the world,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Monalisa Chinda, the Founder of AMF, said women and youths should be given the chance and the leverage to participate in all sectors including politics.
“They should be given that chance to play their role by the incoming government to contribute their own quotas to the development of the country.
“I think it is time to give women space to be what they are meant to be,” she said.
While noting with concern that women were not encouraged by their male counterparts to thrive politically, she called on men to support women to occupy rightful political seats in the country.
She also challenged the women to become mentors that change the narrative for female folks everywhere.
“Women must start from henceforth to become the biggest supporters, fans, Trust-anchor, mentors and financiers of their fellow women,” she said.
Also in her submission, Alex Okoroji, an actress and author, stressed the need to fill the existing gender gaps in our society.
“The gender gaps should be filled to enhance development in the country and the best way to fill the gap is to bring up women to fill their rightful place in the society.
“By bringing more women into discussion. By acknowledging women contribution to development in the society, I think there also need to be better presentations.
“People need to be more aware of women achievement in the society, media can play a crucial role in bringing the women folk to the limelight, how women are represented in the society,” she said.
According to her, there is the need to encourage more women in the areas of leadership, governance and politics.
“I believe that there are not enough laws that support women ideas.
“Because a lot of the laws were made by men and when you have more men as lawmakers than women, not enough women representative, how do we create laws that will be in favour of women?
“So, we need to have more female lawmakers, and have them in politics and governance, then we can have our voices represented and raise issues that women care about,” she said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria