Women engineers demand inclusion in government’s projects
The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) has called for gender inclusion in the execution of government’s engineering contracts and projects to enable them to contribute their quota to nation-building.
Speaking at a symposium and award organised by the association to mark the International Women’s day in Abuja, the President Funmilola Ojelade urged the government to make deliberate efforts to give contracts to competent women engineers so that they can showcase their talents.
She blamed the low enrollment in engineering courses on societal bias and beliefs that engineering is only for the men and that women practicing such profession may find it difficult to get married.
Ojelade said that APWEN as a way of encouraging more women to study engineering, regularly organize quiz competitions with rewards and also offer scholarships to exceptional students who have an interest in engineering.
She noted that the award was aimed at celebrating the achievements of women in various fields and to let them know that their efforts are not in vain.
In her speech, one of the awardees and the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon Nkiruka Ihejiocha lamented that women in Nigeria faces a lot of discrimination, adding that Section 42 provides that no citizens of Nigeria should be subjected to any form of discrimination due to gender.
She noted that in realization of the emerging trends, Nigeria has joined the global call of action through various strategies. Ihejiocha stressed the need to encourage more women to study engineering. “Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives,” she said.
The lawmaker observed that the Goal five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mandates all countries to achieve empowerment and gender equality for women and girls and that laws promoting gender equality and women rights be implemented across the country.
According to her, enactment of women-friendly laws, which have improved the human rights and dignity of women is a welcome development.
She noted that the full and effective political participation of women is a matter of human rights, their active participation on equal terms with men at all level of decision making and political involvement is essential to the achievement of equality.