On International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has urged the Nigerian government to invest in inclusive social protection systems that confront the challenges faced by women and girls.

The IWD 2022 theme set by the United Nations is ‘‘Gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow. #breakthebias’’. It aims to advance gender equality in the time of climate crisis and raise awareness on the importance of institutionalising protective and democratic systems for the prosperity of women.

In a statement issued in Lagos, CAPPA said: “Like it is with other nations, from the home to the office, market, community, and boardroom, women’s contributions to promoting the growth and development of the Nigerian society cannot be overemphasized.”

It noted however that these accomplishments are often undermined by multifaceted discrimination, weak laws, harmful stereotypes, and biases that impede the realisation of gender equality. It stressed that there is no better time than the moment of this celebration to review Nigeria’s commitment to breaking the shackles that bind women and girls from achieving their truest dreams and full human potentials.

CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said: “Women and girls are vital and constitute nearly half of the population in Nigeria, yet they continue to suffer marginalization in economic development, social, intellectual, and political spaces.”

According to research, nearly two out of three (about 6.34) of the country’s 10.19 million out-of-school children in the country are girls. This startling record is driven by a slew of limiting factors such as child and forced marriages, unsafe environments that expose women and girls to harm, enduring conflicts, especially in the northeast region of the country, absence of schools and supportive infrastructures in rural environments, including systematic gender biases that promote the exclusion of women from decision-making processes.

Oluwafemi maintained that, in the context of climate change and environment, poor access to water and clean environments, unscrupulous activities of extractive industries that have resulted in the terrible degradation of fishing waters and farmlands continue to worsen the living and economic conditions of vulnerable women who cater for families and rely on resources in affected environments to gain their livelihoods.

He noted that more worrisome is the fact that women are underrepresented in political spaces and consequently wield little or no influence in shaping responses to their circumstances.

Source: Enviro News Nigeria

 

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