Bimbola Oyesola and Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Federal Government, has launched an electronic dashboard to document and track gender-based violence, which it said was in the increase, in commemoration of the International Women’s Day, yesterday.
Director General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Mary Ekpere-Eta, disclosed this to newsmen, in Abuja, and also, explained that the documentation would go a long in reducing such vices that have given Nigeria a bad name.
She added that the theme of the event; “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change,” should spur relevant agencies to arrest and prosecute offenders of gender based violence, and also, rehabilitate victims.
“Working towards the actualisation of the theme and also, provide social protection for women, the Centre, in collaboration with the office of the wife of the president, has established a gender-based violence electronic dashboard to improve documentation and set up tracking mechanism of gender based violence trends across the country,” she said.
In a related development, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said Nigeria and other developing countries need to rejig their developmental models to accommodate more women; if they are to record substantial progress and harness the full potential of their human resources.
The governor said Edo has shown the light in this regard, with prioritisation of women in development, shown through robust gender mainstreaming policies and programmes as well as the enactment of laws that protect women and other vulnerable persons from abuse.
The governor said this in commemoration of the International Women’s Day celebrated every March 8, by the United Nations and its sister organs.
“The celebration is something we look forward to every year because we value our women in Edo and have worked to empower them.
“We have demonstrated this by appointing an adviser on gender and assistants in all the local government areas of the state to interface with women and ensure that their affairs are brought to the limelight.”
Meanwhile, President of the NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW), Mrs. Modupe Oyekunle, has said beyond the present 35 percent representation which government seems to adhere to, Nigeria women now want 40 percent.
She said: “The theme calls on us to look at those areas where we can actually balance for better, the first is in the area of gender parity. We want a situation where we will have women inclusion in boards and other top positions.
“This is already happening outside, but, we want it in Nigeria; beyond 35 percent, we want 40 percent.”
The women who had earlier held a rally and a march to the Lagos State Government House earlier in the day, had presented a Charter Bill, which has a seven agenda coalition to the Clerk of the House of Assembly.
Prominent on the Bill, th Centre demanded that government policies on women should, henceforth, be chaired by women.
Mrs. Oyekunle said other issues in the bill include urgent attention to problem of multiple taxation, funds accessibility, protection for women in lower business level, need for women to develop themselves to be able to grab opportunity when it comes.