Dame Patience Jonathan has called on state governments across the country to actualize the 35 per cent affirmative action to reduce gender inequality. She stated this in Lafia while inaugurating coordinators for the Nasarawa state chapter of Women for Change and Development Initiative,a non-governmental organization (NGO) initiated by her.
Those that were inaugurated are 3 senatorial district coordinators, 26 local Government areas coordinators from 13 Local Government areas and 2978 unit coordinators in the state are to be sensitized.
The first lady who was represented by the National Coordinator of the NGO, Princess Rabi Ibrahim, the NGO is a non-profit, non-partisan,Nigerian gender focused movement structured to serve a strong and unifying voice for women.
She added that the goal of the NGO was to achieve 35 percent affirmative action, eradicate poverty, empower vulnerable women and improve girl child education in the country.
“Women for change and development initiative project is aimed at creating awareness, sensitization and empowerment of Nigerian women at all levels.” She said.
Governor Umaru Al-Makura in a remark reinstated his administration’s commitment towards gender equality in the state.
He pointed out that woman empowerment is a critical area of his administration’s transformation agenda hence the need for it to be given priority.
He added that government had taken steps towards the actualization of the 35 per cent affirmative action through the appointment of a female secretary to the state government.
He challenged other state governments to follow suit saying, “Whoever appoints a woman SSG is a true advocate of gender equality”.
Al-Makura then appreciated the first lady in championing the rights of women through the NGO saying that her efforts has also been felt in other parts of Africa.
In another remark, Hajia Salamatu Al-Makura, wife of the Governor of Nasarawa state said some of the objectives of the project were to promote affirmative action to enable women participate. actively in the economic, social and political activities in the country.
She then urged the new coordinators to tackle serious issue concerning women such as sexual abuse, child labour and girl child education.