The First Lady of Niger State, Dr. (Mrs.) Amina Abubakar Bello has said the Niger State Gender policy, once adopted would address inequality between women and men in the state.
Dr. Abubakar Bello disclosed this during the validation workshop of the draft Niger State Gender Policy in Minna, Niger State. The policy development is supported by GIZ-SEDIN Programme.
While delivering her keynote address, Dr. Bello said the gender policy would help to address the inequality that exists between men and women and promote the representation of women in decision-making positions in various sectors in the state.
She explained that “a gender policy is the first step to address the gaps that exist and it would help to create an equal opportunity for men and women.”
She noted that once the policy is adopted, it would be mainstreamed across various sectors, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
The First Lady also added that once the policy is put in place, it should be implemented to ensure that issues regarding women and children are adequately catered for.
The Head of Service, Hajia Salamatu T. Abubakar, the first female HOS in Niger State noted that the current administration in Niger State is supportive of gender equality as evident in the various interventions and programs that have been put in place to promote gender equality.
Hajia Abubakar who was represented by Dr. Yakubu Bello commented that the gender policy is coming at an appropriate time in the state and assured that the Civil Service Commission would give adequate and full support to ensure the implementation of the policy.
Head of Policy & Strategy, GIZ-SEDIN, Mr. Akinropo Omoware, explained that the gender policy is keen to GIZ because it is not just a rights issue but a development issue.
He added, “if we have a population where half is women and if they’re unable to contribute to the success and development of the state, the state would not be able to develop,”
Omoware thereafter mentioned that GIZ wants to ensure that there is a policy in place to ensure that government actions, policies, and processes are targeting women and that gender issues are mainstreamed across various MDAs and sectors.
He noted that GIZ will be willing to support the implementation of the policy once it is adopted.
The consultant, Ms. Olutoyin Falade, Executive Director, Innovative Strategy and Human Development (ISHD) commended the Niger State Government saying that, “Niger state is setting history with the Gender Policy which I’m proud to be a part.”
She explained the objectives of the validation workshop as an opportunity to, “elicit commitment of strategic stakeholders for the implementation of the validated gender policy and set targets, baselines for the priority areas/actions for the development of the SAP for implementing the gender policy.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Tpl kaltum Dauda Rufai commended all the stakeholders that have been contributing to the development and draft of the policy.