International Women’s Day , IWD is a global commemoration and rejuvenation of women’s consciousness both in the private and public sector, civil society organisations, non governmental organizations, corporate bodies and voluntary agencies and organisations, the global awareness and campaigns on the need to bring women at par with their men/male counterparts in all areas across the globe.
Consequently, 8, March, 2022, and every year round was always a day to reckon with, particularly on issues that bordered on women emancipation, gender equality, empowerment of all women and girls in line with the Goal 5 of the sustainable development goals SDGs.
In line with UN SDGs Goal 5 domesticated in Nigeria, it is expected that women and girls owing to their vulnerability, are extricated from all forms of discrimination prevalent world over, and had become a dangerous norm from trafficking, sexual abuse/abuses and other types of exploitation.
These was also not limited to all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriages, female genital mutilations and other inventions against some practices in Nigeria.
This year’s 2022 event was a reenactment and value of unpaid care and domestic services through public services, infrastructure protection policies, and promotion of shared responsibility between families and in line with the national practice.
The quest for women parity in the global front had being at the front burner and non negotiable, therefore, women participation, equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in all spheres of our national life.
The need to inculcate and educate more on sexual and reproductive health and rights in line with the ‘Program of Action of International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action’ and the outcome of the documents of their review conferences was highlighted and reiterated by SDGs in Nigeria, to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day IWD.
No doubt, the concerted, collective practical efforts embarked upon by the SDGs in Nigeria towards undertaking major reforms to guarantee equal rights to economic resources of women, access and control of lands and landed properties, financial services, inheritances and natural resources in accordance with the existing laws.
It therefore, adopted modern technological developement through ICT to ensure women’s consciousness and empowerment, with new policies and legislation that will not only ensured gender equality for women and girls, but practicable at national and subnational level simultaneously.
Coincidentally, this year’s annual event was encapsulated into the national clamour for global adherence towards blanket social and political empowerment of women , renewed attention to girls and others needs in view of their vulnerability.
Stakeholders from all walks of life including the UN SDGs in Nigeria playing a leading role had insisted for a greater socio-economic and political impact, empowerment and emancipation of our women in line with it’s statutory roles and agents of sustainable development.
The theme of this year’s 2022 event, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” was also to encourage government at all levels to take crucial decisions rather than mere policy statements, that will not be in tandem with the global engagements.
The negative development and inactions by government had placed women who are naturally vulnerable more exposed to all negative events and natural circumstances to the dreaded activities of kidnappings, banditry, terrorism and all forms of innocuous activities of dissidents spread across the world with Nigeria not in exception, as Boko Haram, ISWAP, had rendered many of our women without husbands, with abodes scattered around IDPs, with our school aged girls under captivity in the last eight years from Chibok girls, Dapchi girls, the continuous incarceration of Leah Shaibu on her religious belief, with all others scattered around Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina, Niger against the freedom and security of lives and properties of our women and girls child in contrast to the global campaigns and requirements by the UN SDGs.
The commendable efforts of Nigeria’s first lady, Dr Aisha Muhammadu Buhari recent visit to the Nigerian parliament in quest for more deliberate/specific political roles for our women in the ongoing constitutional amendment, with a view to providing a specific number for women parliaments that was scuttled was a pointer to the determination of UN SDGs in collaboration with government at all levels, stakeholders, volunteers to provide women more responsibility and sense of belonging.
The continuous protest of women groups across the country spanned for weeks at the entrance of the National Assembly which called for a reverse in it’s decision on the constitutional amendment, was the peak of the quest for women emancipation, gender parity and equality, being vigorously campaigned in accordance with the UN SDGs domesticated in Nigeria.
In her words, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire stressed the need to insured not only political and socio-economic life of women , but also enhance the goals of equality, development peace, advancement of Nigeria’s democracy and even acceleration of achievement of SDGs.
She further said.
“The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, OSSAP-SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire called for greater socio-economic and political empowerment of women to further enhance their status as agent of sustainable development. ”
“Princess Orelope-Adefulire said this in a statement she issued to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2022 marked under the theme, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
“While noting that Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA) already recognized that women’s participation in politics and decision making are essential to achieving sustainable development, Princess Orelope-Adefulire lamented that Nigeria is still lagging behind in many areas in terms of gender equality and balance. ”
“In Nigeria, women make up a mere 3.8 per cent representation in parliament, the lowest in Africa. Yet, greater involvement of women in decision-making will enhance the goals of equality, development peace, advancement of Nigeria’s democracy and even acceleration of achievement of SDGs,” said Orelope Adefulire.
“While urging political actors across all level to give priority to activities aimed at advancing gender inclusion, balance and equality, Princess Orelope-Adefulire commended Nigeria’s First Lady, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders on their unrelenting quest to ensure empowerment of women for national development.”
“Indeed, the presence of our First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari recently at plenary sessions of National Assembly in support of proposed amendment in the 1999 Constitution geared at increasing the number of women legislators at the national and state levels is commendable as it is historic. By her action, our lovely First Lady has again demonstrated her commitment to advancing the cause of women in every sphere of life.”
“I will therefore appeal to our lawmakers to compliment the historic visit by reconsidering the proposed amendments and pass them in a bid to further enhance women’s participation in governance in the country,” the presidential adviser said while congratulating women on the occasion of the 2022 IWD.”
These among many other decisions and global provisions, with determination and commitement to the policy of the UN SDGs in Nigeria, through the domestication of it’s policies and programs, will liberate the women and girls from the shackles of mere policy statements to genuine decisions taken to the betterment of our women and girls in Nigeria.
Abubakar Yusuf writes in from Abuja,he can be reached on; [email protected].