ActionAid Nigeria, a social-justice Non-Government Organisation, has called on government at all levels to scale up investments in public services, including healthcare services.
Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day Celebration.
Obi said that the scaled up investments would help to reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid care and domestic work.
He said this would ensure that women who are public sector workers at the frontline to have decent work and a guarantee of international labour standards.
She also called for the adoption of a care-centred approach for women which recognises that care and well-being were critical to sustaining societies, economies, and the environment.
She said that the commemoration of the 2021 International Women’s Day was a strong reminder of the unanticipated struggles of Nigerian women.
She said women were the hardest hit by social and economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Obi noted that many lost their paid jobs and women became saddled with the responsibility of caring for sick family members and providing their needs often in vulnerable, low paid roles with little protection.
According to her, reports of domestic violence doubled and almost paralysed support system for survivors of violence due to the lockdowns.
“Currently, insecurity has further plunged the country into multiple and intersecting crises with women as primary targets and easy preys.
“As the country re-strategises to rise above this current situation, we call for the adoption of a care-centred approach which recognises that care and well-being are critical to sustaining societies, economies, and the environment.
“A care-centred approach also entails investing in gender-based violence prevention and response in all public and private spaces.
“Care needs to be valued, redistributed and should be integral to humanitarian preparedness and response policies, ” Obi said.
The country director said that the 2021 theme: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” was apt as it was committed to calling out gender biases and inequality.
She, therefore, called on all Nigerians to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.
“Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive Nigeria where the empowerment and fulfilment of the rights of women and girls is normalised.
“As the world beams a spotlight on women, we call on the Nigerian government to reflect and move from policy to action.
“Government at all levels should classify and prioritise all Gender Based Violence services as essential services and ensure that they were publicly funded,’’ Obi said. (NAN)