By Olasunkanmi Onifade
Abuja – Nigerian Women on Thursday in Abuja called on the Federal Government to address all issues affecting their progress.
The issues contained in a “10 Action Point Charter” was also presented to the National Assembly .
One of the conveners of the rally, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, made the call at the “10 Thousand Women’s March” in Abuja, organised by the Women4Women (W4W) He4She movement.
The theme of the rally was: “Pressing for Progress”.
She said that the march was influenced by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to transform the world.
Toyo said women and girls had continued to be discriminated against and marginalised in areas where they had proven their capability, saying genuine support and inclusive government would allow for equal opportunities.
“In Nigeria, as compared to men, women had fewer resources both in terms of political and economic power, as a critical resource, since in most cases women spent significant proportion of their time on activities that were largely not coated in fiscal terms.
“This results in gender inequality,” she maintained.
She noted that in addressing the problem of gender inequality there were a number of legal provisions that guarantee the rights of women, however, these provisions have barely been met as women continue to struggle to grow.
“Today, we demand the removal of all barriers to economic resources and power; an end to all forms of discrimination and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
“We call for an end to illiteracy among women and girls and we want an effective, affordable and accessible health service for women and girls at all levels.
“We also demand that political under-representation and exclusion of women and girls be addressed, as well as poverty, hunger, insecurity and sustainable environment for women and girls,” she said.
The Director General, National Centre for Women Development, Mrs Mary Epere-Etta, lauded the unity among women, urging them to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to enable them participate in upcoming elections.
The Former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande, noted that it is no longer news the low representation of women in governance, saying women coming together under one umbrella in solidarity would go a long way to add value to their struggle.
The high point of the event was the presentation of the charter, the adoption of its demands by women representatives from the six geopolitical zones, and the march past by states.
News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the Women4WomenHe4She is a gender-focused movement, creating a community of actors, who make the issues of women and girls matter.
NAN also reports that women from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT as well as women with disabilities participated in the rally, which commenced with an early morning walk to the National Assembly with the presentation of the charter of demands to the law makers. (NAN)