THE African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage) on Tuesday called for concerted efforts in alleviating extreme poverty among most Nigerian women.
The Executive Director of the institution, Prof. Ufo Okeke-Udozie, made the call in Enugu during a press conference, organised as prelude to the institution’s upcoming conference.
According to Okeke-Udozie, “Nigeria is basically one of the worst places to live on earth, if you are poor, and especially if you are a poor woman.
He said, “As it stands today, women remain the face of extreme poverty in the country due to religious and cultural boundaries placed on them.
“Sadly, our decision makers have been slow in championing the ambitions of the national constitution for providing equal opportunities and space for all, irrespective of gender.
“Rather than becoming the trump card for decision makers in the struggle to ensure nation-building and national integration, gender issues have remained a blight for a country that remains slow to transform gender-based access and opportunities.
“The net effect for all is that Nigeria has remained a shell of the country that it can be.’’
Okeke-Udozie, who said that it was not too late for Nigeria to begin to harness her women potentials, also said that it was not good to undermine women empowerment in the country.
He said that Nigeria should be forward-looking, like the rest of the world.
Okeke-Udozie said that Nigeria was reported to be one of the few countries that actually scored lower overall in 2018 than it did in the 2017 Gender Gap Report.
“All efforts to do so are assured to be futile and would only serve to deepen practices that have continued to weaken our political economy and prospects going forward.
“Comparatively, it remains a hostile place to live for women and girls. Overall, Nigeria ranks 133 globally out of 149 countries assessed for the 2018 report.
“Specifically, Nigeria ranks 79 on Economic Participation and Opportunity; 140 on Educational Attainment; 132 on Health and Survival; and 139 on “Political Empowerment,’’ he said.
He said that gender experts and human rights activists, including Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, would speak at the conference with the theme: “Gender disparity and underdevelopment in Nigeria’’.
The conference, scheduled to hold on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in Enugu, is expected to be attended by leaders and opinion moulders from across the country.
The AfriHeritage, formerly known as African Institute for Applied Economics, is a research-based, capacity building and networking institution that carries out work on national and international socio-economic and political issues. (NAN)
– Sept. 18, 2019 @ 9:57 GMT |