One Campaign in Africa has unveiled its 2015 gender focus campaign tagged “Poverty is Sexist” in a policy forum targeting influential voices on women empowerment and civic organizations in Nigeria. This is with an aim to create a narrative for putting women at the centre of Nigeria’s development aspirations in the lead up to the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be agreed at the global level by moving from policy to action.
The policy forum which had in attendance great Nigerian women from various fields of endeavour such as music legend, Onyeka Onwenu, Ace Broadcaster, Moji Makanjuola, Women Right Advocate, Abiola Akiyode amongst others took place in Abuja today, 16 April. It was a panel event targeting key voices and champions in women empowerment in Nigeria and covering the current state of gender related policies in Nigeria.
According to Edwin Ikhuoria, Nigeria Country Representative for ONE campaign”One Campaign in Africa is seriously working together with African youth in putting an end to all sorts of obsolete policies such gender inequalities, gender abuse and gender violence that has projected African continent in a bad light over the years. To be candid, African continent is not about poverty, strive, hunger, political instability and genocide. No, there is so much more to Africa than all these negativites” he alluded.
Dr Ede Eneh, Founder, Women Empowerment Advocate, Abuja based non-governmental organisation who spoke at the forum said women empowerment through access to quality education, vocational training is one the keys to salvage the gender inequality issue in Nigeria. “Women in Nigeria and Africa as whole need to be empowered economically, when you empower a woman you, empower a generation” she affirmed.
Elegant stallion and legendary singer, Onyeka Onwenu, who is currently Executive Director/chief executive officer of the National Centre for Women Development was a top panelist at the forum hammered more on low representation of Nigerian women in politics and policy making. She said “women in Nigeria deserve to be heard particularly in whatever that has to do with decision making, because this is not about we just been there in the corridors of power, it is about making the right decisions about the future of this nation, Nigeria which might directly affect the African continent as it were”
Mrs Biola Akiyode, dwelt more on existing legal framework supporting women’ rights in Nigeria as being weak and docile. She said there are fundamentalist objectives to be considered when we talk of women inclusiveness in the typical African society. “Women are still being perceived as second hand citizens in Nigeria and Africa as whole. There is need to bridge the gaps that have been inhibiting the implementation of these fundamental objectives and policies” She added.
South African Dr. Mrs Sipho Moyo, Executive Director, ONE Campaign in Africa, made a presentation and the unveiling of “Poverty is Sexist” a proposed ONE campaign against gender equality in 2015. She explained the idea behind “Poverty is Sexist” being that poverty tends to go hands in hand with gender inequalities anywhere in the world, in other words, if we desired gender equality we must as a matter of priority tackle poverty amongst the women in the developing countries.
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