ActionAid Nigeria, non-governmental organisation, has asked women not to stay quiet in the face of oppression and indiscrimination.
Ene Obi, country director of the organisation, said this in Abuja at a programme to commemorate the 2020 International Women’s Day
Obi said although some progress has been made, “real change has been agonizingly slow for most women and girls in Nigeria as we still face several obstacles in law and culture which predisposes us to multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces.
“We suffer the burden of unpaid care and domestic work and remain the face of poverty in Nigeria,” she said.
The group called on all Nigerian women and the federal government to rise up to the task of accelerating gender equality “as we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally”.
“We urge the federal government of Nigeria to fast-track the reduction of women’s labour by working towards the provision of Gender Responsive Public Services in recognition of women’s contribution to economy and national development,” Obi said.
“We also implore all Nigerian Women to take action individually and collectively because our individual and collective actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.
“Together, we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Gender Equality is the responsibility of every Nigerian woman, and the earlier we all take up this challenge, the faster our progress as a nation will be.”
Speaking further, Obi lamented over the refusal of the Cross River state house of assembly to confirm Akon Ikpeme as the chief judge of the state over her being a native of Akwa Ibom.
She urged women not to stay quiet in instances of oppression but “raise a new generation of young women advocates who will remain torchbearers for the struggle and we implore all Nigerian women never to stay quiet in the face of oppression and discrimination”.
“The constructive reaction of Nigerian women groups over the case is commendable and should be emulated,” Obi said.
“We also urge government at all levels to regulate, subsidize or provide public transport; promote laws and public campaigns to eliminate discrimination and violence against women and girls; we welcome government’s commitments to gender equality, but we need to see this translated into investment in public services that account for everybody’s needs.
“Governments should ensure that women participate equally and meaningfully in all processes around designing, legislating and budgeting, not just for their safety but for national development.”