Dora commends Nigeria men for loyalty and support for their womenfolk.

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Dora Akunyili
The iron Lady - Prof. Dora Akuyili

Professor Dora Akunyili, the Minister of Information and Communications, has attributed the progress made in the empowerment of Nigerian women to the cooperation of their male counterparts.

Akunyili said this in New York in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in commemoration of the 2010 International Women’s Day.

The day is observed every March 8.

According to Akunyili, 15 years after the Beijing Declaration, Nigerian women have closed ranks and can now speak for themselves.

“I believe that in Nigeria, women have a lot to celebrate because in those days women were not part of decision making; women were not even heard in families but things have changed.

“Now, women are heard and respected in homes and they take part in decision making in families, in institutions.

“And at the government level, women have actually been part of governance in Nigeria and we have been given a chance to be a part of the system at all levels.

“I believe we should be grateful to our men for integrating us; above all we are very grateful to God that has made it possible for us to be where we are today,” she said.

The minister said women in Nigeria had done well for themselves.

She also said that it was a good development that all over the world and even at the UN, special ministries, establishments and agencies had been dedicated solely to deal with gender-based issues.

In a separate interview, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Salamatu Suleiman, said that in the last 15 years, Nigeria had performed creditably well in terms of women empowerment.

“We can say basically that Nigeria has tried. The Nigerian Gender Policy, which the ministry mapped out in 2006, is a very good blueprint for Nigerian women taking them from where they are to where they ought to be.

“We know a lot still needs to be done, but we believe that with the right policies and programmes we will get there.

“Female representation in elections has increased, having risen from three to 10 percent since 1995, while participation of women in governance remains at 10 percent.

“The percentage of women in parliament rose from 3.6 in 1999 to 5.8 in 2003 and 8.26 in 2007, while currently Nigeria has six deputy governors, nine senators, 26 members of the House of Representatives and six ministers, among other appointments,” she said.

Prof. Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said that Nigerian women were now working in one accord.

“Nigerian women are now working in consonance and not in dissonance. I see them at the zenith and at the grassroots working together for our common empowerment,” she said.

The envoy said the unity among Nigerian women was evident in the progress the country had made in their empowerment in the last few years.

Mrs. Chioma Ohakim, wife of the Imo governor, called on the states to increase women’s participation in governance from 30 percent to 50 percent.

She expressed dismay that some states had not realised the need to have more women in governance.

Akunyili said this in New York in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in commemoration of the 2010 International Women’s Day.

The day is observed every March 8.

According to Akunyili, 15 years after the Beijing Declaration, Nigerian women have closed ranks and can now speak for themselves.

“I believe that in Nigeria, women have a lot to celebrate because in those days women were not part of decision making; women were not even heard in families but things have changed.

“Now, women are heard and respected in homes and they take part in decision making in families, in institutions.

“And at the government level, women have actually been part of governance in Nigeria and we have been given a chance to be a part of the system at all levels.

“I believe we should be grateful to our men for integrating us; above all we are very grateful to God that has made it possible for us to be where we are today,” she said.

The minister said women in Nigeria had done well for themselves.

She also said that it was a good development that all over the world and even at the UN, special ministries, establishments and agencies had been dedicated solely to deal with gender-based issues.

In a separate interview, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Salamatu Suleiman, said that in the last 15 years, Nigeria had performed creditably well in terms of women empowerment.

“We can say basically that Nigeria has tried. The Nigerian Gender Policy, which the ministry mapped out in 2006, is a very good blueprint for Nigerian women taking them from where they are to where they ought to be.

“We know a lot still needs to be done, but we believe that with the right policies and programmes we will get there.

“Female representation in elections has increased, having risen from three to 10 percent since 1995, while participation of women in governance remains at 10 percent.

“The percentage of women in parliament rose from 3.6 in 1999 to 5.8 in 2003 and 8.26 in 2007, while currently Nigeria has six deputy governors, nine senators, 26 members of the House of Representatives and six ministers, among other appointments,” she said.

Prof. Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said that Nigerian women were now working in one accord.

“Nigerian women are now working in consonance and not in dissonance. I see them at the zenith and at the grassroots working together for our common empowerment,” she said.

The envoy said the unity among Nigerian women was evident in the progress the country had made in their empowerment in the last few years.

Mrs. Chioma Ohakim, wife of the Imo governor, called on the states to increase women’s participation in governance from 30 percent to 50 percent.

She expressed dismay that some states had not realised the need to have more women in governance.