Toyin Saraki backs gender parity in Nigeria

 Toyin Saraki backs gender parity in Nigeria

Friday, March 18, 2016 10:18 pm

Toyin Saraki and Senator Biodun Olujimi

Toyin Saraki and Senator Biodun Olujimi

Toyin Saraki, wife of Senate President Bukola Saraki  has called for Nigerian men and women to work together to promote dignity for all and bridge the gap in gender equity and opportunity.

She made the call at the second Senators Wives Forum meeting in the Eighth National Assembly in Abuja, on the heels of the rejection by the Senate of a bill prescribing levelling provisions across gender.

The meeting was addressed by Senator Biodun Olujimi, Sponsor of the Gender Equality and Opportunity Bill, Madame Grace Ongile, Country Director of UN Women, and Julia Bunting, President and CEO of the Global Population Council.

Toyin Saraki speaks with the media

Toyin Saraki speaks with other wives of senators

Toyin Saraki told the forum:  “Our second meeting comes at a significant time, a time when women’s rights and equality are being discussed around the world as part of Women’s History Month, as well as at the UN’s 60th Commission for the Status of Women in New York, which is taking place as we speak. For us here in Nigeria, the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill which was rejected in the Senate two days ago makes this meeting all the more timely; in fact, we couldn’t be meeting at a more important time.”

“We uphold our cultures, our traditions and our religious tenets within our respected diversities, in parity, peace and dignity. Let us pledge for parity within the contexts of social determinants and support dignity for all,” Mrs. Saraki stated.

“Let us be our sisters’ keepers; parity starts in our sisterhood in order to be embedded in our national consciousness to ensure our respect, dignity and rights. Women are the bedrock, the nurturers of the nation: women’s rights are family rights. Nigeria’s advancement will be gauged by the advancement of its most needy, it’s underprivileged, it’s disabled, it’s displaced, and it’s excluded and disenfranchised citizens, and indeed, it’s voiceless orphans. Nigeria cannot advance if their women cannot advance. As Kofi Annan has said, ‘there is no tool for development more effective than empowering women.’ And I want to urge every woman here today to use her voice so that we can see all citizens live and work with dignity.”

The Forum hoped  Senator Olujimi will re-introduce the bill  after necessary adjustments.

*Photos and story courtesy of Sync Media


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