The chairperson of the National Centre for Women Development, Habibat Salman-Saidu has called on the federal government to ensure gender equality by including professional women in the decision-making process of the country.
Mrs Salman-Saidu made this known yesterday in Ilorin while delivering a lecture at the 2011 Week of the Association of Professional Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Kwara State branch. She said: “Despite their contributions during various transition programmes, women worldwide continue to suffer from all forms of social diseases ranging from poverty, sexual abuse, economic discrimination, and most disheartening, lack of equal political representation.
“It was not supposed to be like this when Nigeria attained independence as it was expected that the activisms of late Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Gambo Sawaba and Margaret Ekpo, among others, would blossom into politics, which should propel Nigerian women to equally be at the forefront of governance.” Mrs Salman-Saidu attributed the sustenance of democracy to the elimination of the inequalities between men and women by establishing mechanism and strengthening chances for women’s full and equal participation.
Role of women
“My humble message to our distinguished hostesses is that the opportunities are there for us to take. Let us start to think politics, act politics, design politics, build politics, construct politics, and manage or maintain politics the ways we do in our various fields so that we could guarantee the futures of our children and be sure of a safe nation,” she advised.
In her remarks, the chairperson of the Kwara State branch of APWEN, O.A. Mokuolu urged government to patronise the indigenous professionals in order to ensure that the dividends of democracy get to the grassroots.
“Nigerian women are really ready to promote their society provided they are given the enabling environment to triumph.” Mrs Mokuolu said. Wife of Kwara State governor, Omolewa Ahmed pledged the support of the government of the state under the leadership of Abdulfatah Ahmed towards making life more meaningful for Nigerian women.