For Nigeria to make progress, the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and the State Government must listen to women, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said yesterday.
The President of the association, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, insisted that political leaders must listen to the women directly and not by proxy.
Speaking at the Women Wing of the association programe to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day in Abuja, Ayokunle, said women are the reason there is relative peace in the country.
Represented by National Director for Education, Youth/Women Development, Pastor Omonuwa Ogiemudia, the CAN President said the Federal Government must heed to the demands of Nigerian women for greater inclusion, adding that they are agents of peace and prosperity in the society.
“Women are the reason there’s relative peace in the country. They love peace and will always seek after it. That is why our leaders need the right kinds of women to advise them. If our leaders can listen to the advice of women, our nation will get better. It is very important.
“However, when you have men as most of the special advisers to the President or the Governor, then you realise why we are having some anti-people policy directions. We, therefore, encourage our leaders to draw women closer and listen to them, and the nation will prosper,” Ayokunle said adding that the National Assembly could embrace the option of inviting the women for a fresh parley on ways to address key gender issues and generally discuss a sustainability plan as it concerns gender equality.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, urged stakeholders to close the gender gaps between men and women in governance to create more sustainable and inclusive society and economy.
“We are not competing with the men, but desire to help them. We basically want our voices to be heard. In governance, we don’t want the gap between men and women to be huge.
“With women around the corridors of power, the nation’s progress will be fast tracked. So, we want the National Assembly to reconsider the rejected gender bills.”
On her part, the National Chairperson of the Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Deaconess Victoria Ihesiulor called for urgent action to ensure greater equality and opportunities for women.
“We are saying that women should be given the 35 percent affirmative action which we have been demanding. It is not too much to ask for. So, the National Assembly should give favourable reconsideration of all the gender bills that have been previously rejected in order to give women a resounding voice in the scheme of things,” Ihesiulor said.