A Pan-African Non-Governmental Organisation, “SHE Forum Africa”, has urged Federal Government to provide security and quality education for women and girls to achieve economic development in the country.
The founder of the organisation, Ms Inimfon Etuk, made the call at an event — “Evening with the Woman” in Abuja on Thursday.
The event, a conversation with women in development and entrepreneurship, was hosted in partnership with “The Guardian” in commemoration of the 2018 UN International Women’s Day with the theme “Press for Progress.”
Etuk said it was pertinent for government to provide basic fundamentals such as security, education, healthcare for women and girls to press for progress in the society.
“The theme focuses on the need to promote healthy conversations and solutions that would help to address persisting issues surrounding health, safety, education and economic advancement for women and girls.
“The institution of democracy and governance must begin to put on a human face for the development of women and girls as well as for all citizens.
“We should be able to answer certain questions as to why women and girls continue to live in misery and why it is impossible for our girls to have quality education.
“If children are not safe in schools, then it is impossible for them to attain education and education because they go hand in hand with security and safety.
“Basic human rights must be made available as it is the only way people can exist, excel and strive, ” she said.
Etuk commended the efforts of government in creating room for women in leadership positions, and for demonstrating the awareness that women deserved positions in governance.
She said Sustainable Development Goal (SDG5) targets gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls.
“We believe that for this goal to be achieved, government and institutions must primarily ensure that the needs of women and girls were reflected in planning and budgeting.
“Policies and decisions must also be backed with tangible actions because with about 180 million people, there were certainly qualified women to have gender parity in leadership positions and government offices.
“UN women have expressed repeatedly that women have a right to equality in all areas.
“Such rights must be embedded across legal systems, upheld in both laws and legal practices, including proactive measures such as quota, since all areas of life relate to gender equality,” she added.