By Ruth Tene Natsa AND BLESSING BATURE, Abuja
The federal government has launched the HeForShe Campaign which is a United Nations’ entity for gender equality and empowerment of women.
Speaking the at the launch in Abuja, yesterday, the acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said “There is no hiding place either in religion, law or public policy for the treatment of women as inferior to men.
He stated that over 40 per cent of girls on the average were illiterate and illiteracy meant that they would not find decent livelihood as they were likely to be married off early, discriminated against in inheritance rights or punitive widowhood practices and would work the hardest on the farms and long hours in the markets and earn far less than men.
He noted that “Even the most educated or the best educated of women will probably, several times in their working lives be subjected to one form of gender based discrimination or another, noting that, many may even add to the growing statistics of victims of domestic violence.
“I bring you very warm wishes from the President and his acceptance of his nomination as the champion of the HeForShe Campaign in Nigeria. Indeed as the father of seven daughters, he more than anyone else should be a passionate advocate of gender equality.”
The minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Al-Hassan in her keynote address, described the event as a solidarity campaign for the advancement of women initiated by UN Women.
“Its goal is to engage men and boys as agents of change by encouraging them to take action against negative inequalities faced by women and girls. Grounded in the idea that gender equality is an issue that affects all people socially, economically and politically it seeks to actively involve men and boys in a movement that was originally conceived as “a struggle for women by women,” she said.
The campaign, which was created by the UN Women, is a global effort to engage men and boys in recovering the social and cultural barriers which prevent women and girls from achieving their potentials.
It is also aimed at enlisting men and boys as equal partners in the responsible crafting and implementation of a shared vision of gender equality with norms of gender equality, non-violence and respect and thus positively reshaping society.