Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki has urged global leaders and other development stakeholders to expand opportunities for women in rural areas to drive sustainable development in communities.
Obaseki gave the charge in commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, celebrated by the United Nations and its partners, on August 9, each year.
He said, “In commemoration of this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, there is the need for world leaders to work together in opening up the space for increased women participation in driving sustainable development, especially in rural communities.”
“In Edo State, women are a part of the process in building a sustainable future in several socio-economic sectors and are represented across the different levels of government.”
On this year’s theme, “The role of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge,” the governor commended the UN for drawing global attention to the role of women in rural areas.
He noted, “The participation of women at the local level in governance gives them a sense of belonging and the opportunity to be voted into power. We have seen how women work together as a group in protecting government projects and supporting policies of government at the local level.”
Highlighting the crucial roles women play in rural communities, Obaseki said, “through the state skills development agency, EdoJobs, more women have been empowered and equipped with the right skills and provided with support in rural communities to enable them function effectively as breadwinners, caretakers, knowledge keepers and leaders.
“The state government committees against gender-based violence, human trafficking and illegal migration are working with women groups in checking the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence in rural areas.”