Former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, has lauded women for their roles in the developmental process of Nigeria, adding that “Nigerian women have stood tall to be counted as worthy patriots” and deserved to be treated as important.
Atiku disclosed this in a statement meant to commemorate the 2022 International Women’s Day on Tuesday.
He stressed that education of women was significant to the development of Nigeria, noting that discrimination against girl gender affects the country negatively.
“When we talk about the mass illiteracy that continues to manifest as the existential problem of out-of-school children in Nigeria; or be it the problem of primary healthcare accessibility and, even, terrorism— finding a sustainable solution to these problems will compulsory start by giving education to the girl child and impulsively require that we take the issue of Affirmative Action more seriously.
“It is only when we educate the girl child that we can begin to have hope that the next generation will be better equipped to confront many, if not all the problems besetting our society today. So granting gender equality is not a want of our world. It is a need. And it is a decision we have to take now!”, he added.
Atiku also hinted at the urgent need to come up with policies geared towards gender equality in Nigeria, adding that the recent rejection of gender bills by the legislature was a slap on the face of Nigeria as a complex country.
“A lot about what we need to do on gender equality rests within the corridor of policy formulation at the governmental level. It is disheartening that just recently, the national legislature in Nigeria threw away the baby with the bathwater by a sweeping rejection of some proposals that will given women some advantages in the current constitutional review exercise.
“I believe the civil societies must continue to lobby both the executive and legislative arms of government in driving home the agenda. The process could be incremental, but we must never take our hands off the cart”, he said.