Posted by Charles lwuoha, Enugu | 18 September 2019 | 532 times
The African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage), on Tuesday, advocated for an all-inclusive concerted efforts to end extreme poverty and lack of economic empowerment among most women in the country.
“As it stands today, women remain the face of the extreme poverty in the country due to religious and cultural boundaries placed on them,” the Executive Director of AfriHeritage, Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, said.
Speaking during a news briefing on the forthcoming Big Ideas Podium Conference, with the theme, ‘Gender Disparity and Underdevelopment in Nigeria’, Okeke-Uzodike noted that 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: “Sadly, our decision makers have been slow in championing the ambitions of the national constitution on providing equal opportunity 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 if only it chooses to embrace social inclusion, especially with regard to women.
“While the potential remains and can still be harnessed – if we can get on with this unavoidable task – the lost opportunities and staggering costs in wasted potential and value will remain highly injurious to the fortunes of Nigeria.
“I must repeat that as with the rest of the world, Nigeria cannot turn its back to its future.
“All efforts to do so are assured to be futile and would only serve to deepen the rut that has continued to weaken our political economy and prospects going forward.”
The AfriHeritage boss stated that Nigeria remained one of the few countries that actually scored lower overall in 2018 than it did in the 2017 Gender Gap Report.
“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.
On the forthcoming Big Ideas Podium Conference, he noted that the eminent gender expert and human rights activist, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, would speak extensively on “Gender Disparity and Underdevelopment in Nigeria”.
The Conference, which would be attended by a vast cross section of prominent leaders and opinion moulders across the country, would take place on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Enugu.
AfriHeritage, formerly known as African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE), is a research-based, capacity building and networking institution that carries out work on national and international socio-economic and political issues.
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