The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says it is committed to ensuring that women are included in top leadership roles.
The Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, in a statement on Monday in Abuja signed by her media aide, Mrs Nneka Anibeze, said inclusion of women in leadership roles was necessary to close the gender gap.
The theme for the 2021 celebration of International Women’s Day is: ‟Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 World”.
“My ministry in carrying out its mandate of socially and economically including and protecting the vulnerable, will remain committed to including women at leadership levels, as policy makers, beneficiaries and advocates, in order to close the gender gap.
“I therefore urge women to play exemplary roles to the younger ones and support one another to secure the future for women.
“It is pertinent that we continue to denounce all forms of violence in our society, especially against women and as we press for progress in our different areas of leadership, we must continue to be exemplary role models to provide mentorship and encouragement for the next generation of women.
“We should all take it as a source of pride that we are always willing to support one another, thereby securing a better future for us all. This is the essence of today’s celebration, and I urge us all to remain committed to this vision,” Farouq said.
The minister noted that this year’s celebration came with the unprecedented change following the coronavirus pandemic which now necessitated action to spur women and men into taking bold steps toward closing the gender gap.
“We must understand that gender equity sets the stage for gender equality, according to the new voices of change, also brought about by a pandemic of systemic and structural discrimination.
‘If equality is the end goal, equity is the means to get there in a resilient manner,” Farouq stressed.
Anibeze also quoted the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen congratulating women for their contribution to nation building.
Also, the UN Country Representative, Ms Comfort Lamptey praised women for their engagement and participation in the development of the nation despite the marginalisation across sectors.
The Executive Director of UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS UNAIDS, Ms Winnie Byanyima condemned social injustice against women and children.
Every March 8 is set aside every year to celebrate and honour women globally through the recognition of their achievements without bias to their nationality, ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, economic or political background. (NAN)