ABIDJAN – Cote d’Ivoire’s government is evolving strategies which will encourage the involvement of more women in the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of its officials said on Saturday.
The country’s Minister of Solidarity, Family, Women and Children, Ms Desiree Ouloto, stated this in her address to mark the 2014 UN International Women’s Day.
The minister said the country believed that the active participation of women in critical economic and social areas would also facilitate its dream of becoming an emerging economy in 2020.
“That is why for us as a country we chose to celebrate the day with the theme: `Women to work for the MDGs and the Emergence of Côte d’Ivoire’.
“Today will enable us to take stock of our achievements so far and to lay the foundations for a more inclusive participation of women,’’ she said.
Ouloto said even though a lot was still expected to be done, the Ivorien government had achieved some remarkable feats in education and health.
“The net enrolment rate increased from 56.1 per cent in 2008 to 72.6 per cent in 2012 with a special focus on the girl-child enrolment.
“Infant mortality declined from 84 per cent in 2008 to 68 per cent in 2012 and HIV/AIDS prevalence which was 3.7 per cent in 2008 fell to 3 per cent in 2012,’’ she said.
The minister said further that women empowerment had also received commendable attention with the assistance of foreign partners.
“We kick-started the Katiola Rural Women Protection and Empowerment Project. This is a project that will gradually be replicated in other parts of the country,’’ she said.
Ouloto called on women to take advantage of government’s empowerment programmes to boost their capacities and contribute to the development of the country.
The UN General Assembly, in its Resolution 32/142 of 1977, had declared March 8 as a day to celebrate women.(NAN)