As the world marks the 2018 International Women’s Day, speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has assured Nigerian women of the commitment of the House of Representatives in ensuring that goals targeted at women’s empowerment and inclusion are actualised.
In a statement issued to commemorate the 2018 International Women’s Day, the speaker said the House is in tune with this year’s theme; Press For Progress, as it has steadily been involved in activities and ventures that will promote upliftment of women in Nigeria.
He added that his leadership is aware and working to gradually eliminate challenges that have impeded gender parity in Nigeria, including lack of access to education, poverty and repressive cultural norms and called on stakeholders to join the legislature to bring an end to gender-based discrimination in the country.
Hon Dogara said, “The plight of the average Nigerian woman is one we are all familiar with. From childhood, many are denied education and subjected to other conditions which limit their aspirations. Many cultures also enforce practices which are detrimental to women’s health and overall wellbeing. As a nation, we must collectively seek to put an end to all forms of discrimination against girls and women.
Dogara further emphasised the importance of women’s inclusion in politics and governance, as well as the importance of having a society built on the tenets of egalitarianism.
“As the world presses for progress, Nigeria must not be left behind. We must completely eradicate discriminatory norms and usher in a new era of egalitarianism. All citizens should be considered equal before the law, and women are no exception.
“We need policies which will enhance the political representation of women, so that they are empowered to influence laws and contribute to key decision making processes. Nigerian women are intelligent and resourceful and we must, as a matter of duty, create an enabling environment in which there are no systemic barriers to attaining their full potential.
‘The House of Representatives under my leadership has ensured that, irrespective of the fact that the number of female parliamentarians is way lower that that of their male counterparts, every one of them is either a chairperson of a committee or a deputy. a few exceptions occur where the lawmakers joined the House after the committees had already been constituted. The idea behind this, among others, is to put them in a position where they can fully exploit their potentials and to empower the Nigerian women.
“The House also voted largely in favour of Constitution amendment bills seeking to ensure balanced representation of women in governance.”