In a bid to sensitise Nigerians on the need for gender parity, the director general, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii, has said that gender equality is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and also part of the fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
He disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja during the launch of a Gender Policy Handbook for use in public service in the country.
The NAFDAC DG said the effort was in line with the National Gender Policy of the federal government.
He informed that the book would further help in mainstreaming gender issues into the agency, with the aim of creating an enabling environment for promoting gender equality, empowering women and promoting equal opportunities at the workplace.
Orhii maintained that his agency had set good example in gender parity in the country, as according to him, out of the 2,265 staff of the agency, 58 per cent are males, while 42 percent are females.
“Within the rank of Directors, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors, the population is 153 with a sex distribution of 60.7 per cent males and 39 per cent females,” he stated.
He added, “The leadership of NAFDAC has had both male and female Directors-Generals in its over 20 years of existence. The distribution of staff by gender shows men and women to be at par at top management level as seven out of NAFDAC’s fourteen Directors are females.”
Speaking on the significance of the book, the Minister for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina, noted that the book would go a long way in assisting the ministry in actualising her mandate of gender mainstreaming across sectors and facets in the country.
The minister who was represented by the Director for Women Affairs, Mrs. Iran Ajufor, said: “The development of a gender policy handbook is apt, particularly in our current effort to ensure that gender-based approach is mainstreamed in all areas of human endeavour; with the clear view to achieving gender parity and positive development in both sexes and the country in general.”