Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, can take lessons from countries like Canada and Namibia who have used gender-based policies and programs in tackling gender inequality, experts say.
At the Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) 21st annual conference held on Thursday, Teshome Nkrumah, Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria said Canada’s commitment in using gender based analysis treatment in the development of all their legislations, policies and programs both domestic and international, helped to achieve a greater impact in reducing inequality.
“We were one of the first countries to ratify the convention and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Today, we are fortunate to say that almost 50 percent of our cabinet ministers are women,” Nkrumah said.
He further said that the achievement is a reflection of decades of providing assistance internationally. “We learnt that when you deliver assistance to women and girls, you have a greater impact.”
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Humphrey Geiseb, High Commissioner of Republic of Namibia to Nigeria also added that although his country does not have any government regulation or legislation that mandates equal representation but instead have policies and programs that have a moral influence in getting equal numbers of men and women in leadership positions.
“We have a number of vision documents, prosperity and national plans where the issues of gender mainstreaming, gender equality, protection of women and the girl child are daily part of the government of Namibia,” Geiseb said.
He added that these issues are not attended to one in a while but constantly. “Gender equality is something that we live and put in practice everyday.”
Globally, women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. And it is believed that women now play a very vital role in human progress and have a significant place in society.
However, gender equality in Nigeria is constrained by cultural practices which elevate patriarchy to an absurd degree.
Data from a 2021 Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows that, out of 146 countries, Canada and Namibia ranks 25th and eighth position respectively. While Nigeria ranks 123rd.
Gender equality and empowerment is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations (UN) to be achieved by the year 2030.
William Stevens, United States Consul General in Nigeria said for so many years, they have talked about African solutions to African problems. “But that is wrong; we need to talk about African solutions to global problems.”
Stevens further said that working and partnering together with partners in Nigeria will help find proper answers and solutions to gender inequality.