President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has tasked the Ministry of Women Affairs to work closely with the National Assembly towards the empowerment of the Nigerian women.
The Senate President who played host to the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen and her officials said the ministry and the National Assembly ought to work together to redress the gender imbalance.
Lawan said “as Legislators, we need to do a lot together with the Ministry of Women Affairs to see how we can empower the female gender.
“You (Women Affairs minister) need to relate with the Senate Committee on Women Affairs very closely. You need to define what your roadmap is…What can we achieve together to improve the lives of Nigerian women.
“It is important that we have the road map because we want to have measurable targets. We want to say after six months, we should be celebrating achieving certain targets.
“Therefore, I will propose that you have an engagement with our committee where you have your own idea of what you want to do as a minister and what we can do to intervene through legislations or whatever kind of support that is possible to make you succeed in your ministry.”
Girl child education
The Senate President said Nigerian women deserve something far better than the deal they have been having over the years.
Speaking on girl child education, the Senate President said the time has come to really take a more decisive position in term of educating the girl child
“We owed the Nigerian girl child the obligation and responsibility to make her realise her potentials, give her education that she deserves and requires.
“We are the country with the largest number of out of school children today in the world. That is not a good story.
“The world is very big and if we will be categorised as number one that is very bad. If we are to ensure that 11 or 12 million, in fact very undetermined number of children out of school, are enrolled and kept in school we have to have a better approach.
“The basic and secondary education levels require the full implementation of UBE Act 2004. This is a duty we must perform.
“We are at the moment thinking that the federal government should work and partner with the states government to ensure that those out of school children are enrolled and kept in school.
“Because of paucity of funds it is not possible to deal with the situation at once, but we can stagger it. With strategic planning, execution and implementation we can be able to say take one or two million by next year and subsequently over the years.
“I believe women affairs ministry should be at the vanguard of this campaign”.
Zero tolerance of violence
The Senate President said the National Assembly has zero tolerance for violence against women and promised to give full support to the ministry in the fight against the menace.
He cited the sexual harassment bill which has passed the second reading in the Senate as testimony of the lawmakers’ commitment to protect the right and dignity of women.
Earlier, Tallen said the visit was to intimate the Senate President about the roadmap she initiated to advance the cause of women in the country, and to seek for the support of the Senate in combating the menace of out of school children, girl child education and violence against women.
“There is no one that will support us more like the National Assembly because we need legislation that will back us to achieve our targets,” she said.