Given the need to improve women’s inclusion, social cohesion, and efforts toward achieving sustainable development objectives, President Muhammadu Buhari has established a High-Level Advisory Council on Nigeria’s Support for Women and Girls. Buhari launched three initiatives, including the Advisory Council, the Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Project and National Women’s Economic Empowerment Policy Dialogue in Abuja. To this end, he urges a stepping-up of initiatives to ensure women’s participation in development plans and initiatives.
The president claims that the three plans would help bring about a decrease in poverty and the establishment of a sustainable economy, both of which were election promises made by his party prior to being elected. The success of a country’s long-term development goals may be gauged in large part by how well its women and girls fare. Noting the progress achieved thus far, Buhari voiced his pleasure with the efforts taken to include Nigerian women in strategic economic planning, policymaking, public programming, and public finance management.
Advisory Council Support for Women is expected to bridge noted imbalance.
Regardless of these advancements, the government remains cognizant of and committed to resolving underlying deficiencies. As a component of such an effort, making use of the resources made available by the government, the inventiveness and effectiveness of the business sector, and the technical expertise of partners from the social and development sector is essential to achieving the desired goals of empowering women and girls. Buhari stressed the need for collaboration in advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls to take advantage of new economic possibilities.
Nonetheless, the newly established High-Level Advisory Council on Nigeria’s Support for Women and Girls is expected to help bridge the noted imbalance. Upon the Council’s induction, the President gave it the responsibility of fostering global cooperation and action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality by 2030. Dame Pauline Tallen, Nigeria’s Minister of Women’s Affairs, spoke at the inauguration and remarked on how the event represented the president’s dedication to advancing the status of women and girls in the country.
Women’s discrimination endangers the democracy of a country.
The minister continued by stating that the President had authorized the establishment of a Presidential High-Level Advisory Council on Women’s Support to Women in Nigeria in December 2022. She said that the Council’s role would be to advise and assist government-led efforts to advance gender equality through strategic direction, supervision, policy, and assistance. In addition, they are responsible for providing guidance to Nigeria’s financial and technical partners on how best to provide aid to women and girls in Nigeria. At the same time, Dr. Fatima Akilu, the Executive Director of the Neem Foundation, claims that a nation’s progress is stunted by its treatment of women and girls as inferior.
Dr. Akilu, who addressed at a Stakeholders’ Meeting organized by the Neem and Ford foundations to examine access and response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Northwest Nigeria, said that the discrimination and disempowerment of women and girls endanger the democracy, peace, and security of a country. In addition, she identified it as a barrier to social cohesiveness, peace, fairness, and justice, an impediment to sustainable growth, and a significant weight on national economies.
Elimination of violence against women has turned into a national goal.
However, despite the many difficulties and gaps encountered, progress has been observed in recent years. This is due to the direction set by many participants at the Abuja summit. At a recent meeting with stakeholders in Sokoto, Kaduna, and Kano, Dr. Akilu stressed that the elimination of violence against women has gone from being a cultural taboo to a national goal backed by a strong national and international framework. Hajiya Kulu Abdullahi Sifawa, the commissioner for women and children affairs in Sokoto state, praised the work of the Neem and Ford foundations in carrying out a project that they had sponsored for 18 months.