The Director-General, National Centre for Women Development, NCWD, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Ita has appealed to governments at all levels to consider more women for political appointments.
According to her, the call had become imperative given the poor performance of Nigerian women in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Ekpere-Eta made the appeal at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja ahead of the International Women’s Day, IWD, which is marked every March 8.
The theme of the day is: “Think equal, build smart, innovative for change”, and focuses on innovative ways to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women in areas of social protection systems, access to public service and sustainable infrastructure.
The Director-General, noted that the theme for this year’s celebration was apt because it touches on current day realities facing women in their quest to ensure gender equity and equality.
According to her, women needed to take their rightful place in the scheme of things to enable the qualified ones to contribute their quota to nation building.
She explained that the rationale behind the celebration was to provide women opportunity to evaluate their contributions in all spheres of human endeavour and to plan strategies to further their effective participation.
Ekpere-Ita disclosed that the centre in partnership with the University of Abuja had begun Masters’ Degree in Gender Security Studies and Youth Advancement.
She said that the programme was aimed at developing competent hands that would address the gender gaps and proffer solutions to existing gender challenges in Nigeria.
She further disclosed that the centre was also running a Girls Coding Programme to connect young girls and women to the information super highway that would enable them to explore more opportunities in the sector.
Speaking further, she said; “To ensure no one is left out, the centre trains girls and women with disabilities on the use of ICT with a special centre dedicated to the visually impaired.
“Only in 2018, the centre trained 50 visually impaired women in ICT and project management. Owing to the success of the training the centre has perfected plans to scale up the training on ICT.”
Ekpere-Ita explained also that the centre in collaboration with the Office of the Wife of the President had established Gender Based Violence Electronic Dash Board in order to address the increasing rate of Gender Based Violence, GBV, in the country.
The dash board, according to her was established to improve documentation, set up tracking mechanism of GBV trends across the country and to better track effort of prosecuting and rehabilitation officers as well as compensation of victims and their families.