Abia Governor’s wife: We’re working on gender policy
Wife of Abia State Governor, Nkechi Ikpeazu, has said the government is working out a gender policy to fight gender discrimination and others in the state.
According to her, women are known to be resilient, determined and result-oriented yet not rewarded accordingly.
With support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the Governor’s wife said the development of the policy has reached 80 per cent, hoping that its introduction would help women get better access to relevant platforms and opportunities in life without bias of gender.
She said: “I’m committed to Ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) by putting in place, a sustainable statewide mechanism to respond and mitigate GBV whenever it occurs having realised that GBV is an intricate expression of gender bias.
“Economically, we also have a strong system of empowering women with viable business ideas by injecting funds and other inputs into their business to thrive.”
She noted that through the Annual Abia Women August Delegates Conference (AWADEC) loan scheme, the state targeted about 500 women for loans believing that one way to break the gender bias is economic empowerment of women.
Positing that the role of women in society is indispensable and has to be appreciated, she expressed disappointment over the non-passage of gender bills by the National
Assembly during the constitutional amendment, which she described as setting the Nigerian woman back by decades.
According to Ikpeazu, despite what the women have achieved in public services, the corporate world and the economy, the realms of local and national politics, have remained beyond their reach.
She, however, noted that the recent award to the state from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth Development agency, the Westminster Foundation, speaks of some of their activities in the state.
She continued: “We are disseminating the provisions of our Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law and we have three other important bills that the State House of Assembly is working on including the Obnoxious Widowhood Practices Bill, the Equal Opportunities Bill and a review of the Child Rights Law.
“We are trying to inspire leadership, entrepreneurship, and intellectual adventures for our young girls in the area of science, technology, engineering and ICT because we are mindful that the emancipation we want may not come in our generation, so we have to prepare our young to create the change.”
Mrs. Ikpeazu added that her other task is to engage with the menfolk to collaboratively support gender mainstreaming and balancing.
“We are advocating and demanding for greater access for women and notwithstanding the unfortunate
setback at the National Assembly last week, we shall continue to press and demand better treatment from men. We will not stop until we break the bias,” she added.