Pauline Tallen, minister of women affairs, says Nigeria would develop more effectively with gender equality. Tallen spoke on Thursday at an event marking the 2022 International Women’s Day, organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
The national assembly rejected bills seeking to give women more opportunities in leadership and governance. Following the rejection of the bills, protests have been held in parts of the country — including at the national assembly– with women demanding gender inclusion.
Consequently, the house of reps rescinded their decision on three of the gender bills. Speaking during the event, Tallen called for concerted efforts to fight gender inequality in Nigeria, saying it was not a mistake that God created both genders to complement each other. “We can only develop more effectively when we have gender equality,” she said.
“You cannot say that the country will move forward when over 50 percent is one gender controlling everything. It means we are standing on one leg.” The minister also urged the national assembly to reconsider the gender bills.
“On March 8, there was a rethink by the lower house, and by the grace of God, the upper house will join them to have a rethink,” she said. “We can’t be angry with them because we can’t throw away the baby with the bathwater.”
The minister also appealed to women to always support their partners and also urged the men to ensure that their wives “are always happy”. This, according to her, will guarantee a happy home, society, and a prosperous Nigeria.
“Women remain a strong force to reckon with and no one can take away our joy. So, I urge Nigerian women to remain focused, resilient and determined in contributing to nation-building,” Tallen added.
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