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ActionAid launches N2.6b project in Nigeria as USAID laments gender gap

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Iyom Josephine Anenih

Women group decries insecurity, urges govt’s urgent action
ActionAid Nigeria yesterday launched a N2.6 billion Women’s Voice and Leadership Project to advance protection of women and girls’ rights to achieve gender equality in the country.

This follows a United States Aid for International Development (USAID) report indicating that it would take another 170 years to close the gender equality gap.

The five-year project, to be implemented in Enugu, Bauchi, Kebbi, Cross River, Lagos and Kwara states, would address women empowerment and economic justice, women in conflicts, gender, sexual-based violence and participation in governance.

Former Minister of Women Affairs, Josephine Anenih, expressed concern about the declining representation of women in leadership positions in the country, while launching the programme in Abuja. Responding, ActionAid’s Country Director, Ene Obi said the organisation has partnered with Global Affairs Canada to contribute to gender equality between men and women.

She added that the project would provide the needed resources to women’s rights organisation and their networks to embark on activities they have been denied of in the country.

Meanwhile, a faith based group, Mothers of the Nations Oranisation for Peace and Development, led by its President, Bishop Priscilla Otuya, has charged the Federal Government to rise up to the nation’s insecurity challenges before the situation leads to anarchy.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, she stressed that time has come for women to be heard, adding that insecurity has made it difficult to travel to any part of the country due to the fear of being attacked, kidnapped or even killed.

She lamented that Fulani herdsmen have made the situation worse, as they go about with sophisticated guns, while ordinary Nigerians have has no right to carry arms, which leaves them at the mercy of herdsmen.

Otuya added that to the detriment of Nigerians, the Federal Government has not only been encouraging RUGA, with a view to creating ranches for herdsmen across the country, a practice that is inconsistent with a country that wants peace and which could not be found in developed nations.

She urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the country’s leaders not to lord it over the people in the process of upholding their rights and privileges, adding that government should listen to the cries of Nigerians, as the bloodletting has become unacceptable.


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