• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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NGO advocate for social inclusion, empowerment for elderly women in Nigeria

The issue of protecting the rights of the aged in Nigeria does not really have constitutional backing in Nigeria, the Centre for Gender Economics (CGE Africa) has said.

The Non- governmental (Organisation NGO) also say that the only social policy in place for elder persons in Nigeria has to do with retirees from formal employment noting that the abuse suffered by older women is often exacerbated by poverty and lack of access to legal protection.

“There are certain provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria that seem to give  some rights to the aged in Nigeria within the disability and vulnerability provision, which is neither specific or adequate,” said Uchenna Idoko, executive director of the Centre.

According to Idoko, as reflected in the Reformed pension scheme of 2004 to which employees and employers in public and private sectors contribute 7.5 percent  each except for the military for which they contribute 2.5percent while the government contributes 12.5 percent to the pension fund.

“older women experience all forms of violence, noting that there is a lack of data on its prevalence, primarily because surveys are not set up to capture this information in the first place.”

“We also need to create awareness that preventing and reporting elder abuse is everyone’s responsibility. The public will be encouraged to provide confidentially information to law enforcement authorities, both at the federal and state levels on abuse of the elderly especially women,” she explained.

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In a World Health Organisation report on sexual and intimate partner violence, only 66 of its 392 estimates included women over 49. The surveys in this study were based on begin capturing this information at age 15 or 18 and then stop at 49, irrespective of the reality that violence against women has no age limit.

Abosede Oladeinbo Project Officer, Women’s Voice, and Leadership (WVL) Project, earlier in her remarks said that the project is a social inclusion project for the elderly woman that aims to train elderly women on volunteerism and register them as trained community social workers, increase the employability of trained elderly women volunteers in the state and have a critical mass of elderly women who are socially and economically included in their communities and state.

“We call on government and all stakeholders to mainstream elderly studies in higher institutions general studies curriculum establish well-funded daycare centres where old people can meet, socialize and receive information,” said  Idoko.

 

Anthonia Obokoh