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UN decries gender disparity in workplace as lender supports equality campaign

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The United Nations has observed that despite its leadership role in Africa’s economy, Nigeria still lags behind in promoting gender equality, especially in the workplace.

UN Women Work in Nigeria, specifically scored gender equality and empowerment of women index at 0.85. In her opening remarks and overview at the launch of the global “HeForShe” movement initiative, in Lagos, UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, however extolled Lagos State for leading the drive on gender equality in the country.

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Represented by Deputy Country Representative, Lansana Wonneh, she said: “The statistics of women in government in the State is perhaps the best in Nigeria, and the launching of the HeForShe Campaign is indeed, a demonstration and commitment not only of the government, but also of the men and the women of Lagos State to gender equality and empowerment of women.”

This comes as Tier 2 lender, Polaris Bank, has expressed its support in line with its Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy, for the “HeForShe” initiative.

This is even as the Bank’s CEO, Tokunbo Abiru, was nominated Gender Equality Champion by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation in conjunction with UNWomen.

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Commenting, Abiru said: “Our commitment to gender equality runs just as deep as our passion for creating value, which is why it is one of the main focus of the Women and Youth Empowerment pillar of our Sustainability and CSR Policy.”He noted that: “Women are the most deprived gender in the world, and apart from constituting majority of the unbanked, they are also deprived on cultural grounds in developing economies.”

He added that: “In support of the objective of the HeForShe movement, we have and will continue to support particularly, the economic and financial growth of women and contribute to building an enabling environment for them.”

Also speaking, Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pledged his support towards promoting the ideals of the HeForShe initiative in his administration, while thanking the agency for being decorated as the number one HeForShe Advocate/Champion in the state.
Earlier in her welcome address, Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Bolaji Dada, said:
“HeForShe is a platform through which men and boys are encouraged to become agents of change,” and “to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality.”

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CEOTokunbo Abiru
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