Benin City – The First Lady of Edo State, Her Excellency Betsy Obaseki has called for improved capacity, stronger network and creation of a system too strong to be ignored towards achieving gender inclusion in Nigeria.
Her Excellency Betsy Obaseki made the call while delivering a goodwill message at the inauguration of the HeForShe Solidarity Movement in Edo State and presentation of award of recognition to HeForShe in Edo State, an initiative of the United Nations Women in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues and the Office of the First Lady of Edo State.
Heforshe Solidarity Movement is a global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their potentials.
The Edo State First Lady in her address, read by the Wife of the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Her Excellency Maryann Shaibu described the HeforShe solidarity movement as a product of years of struggle. She said “while it sounds appropriate to congratulate women world over for the mileage gained, it is very important that we congratulate our Champions today. They are the proof that this call has been worth it.
The UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs Comfort Lamptey in her address said “the UN Women is honoured to once again partner with the Edo State Government in advancing women equality through galvanising men engagement” adding that “with men as gender equality advocates, this will make a difference as they will inspire other men to take action”.
The Edo State Governor, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki who was a recipient of the Award of recognition on behalf of his cabinet, in his goodwill message said that compared to previous administration, his government has more female Commissioners, more female Special Advisers and more female Permanent Secretaries contributing immensely to the achievement of Making Edo Great Again (MEGA).
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Osariodion Ogie Esq. said his administration is entrenching a culture that supports gender inclusiveness, not just for the sake of being women friendly, but to further support the emphasis that no society will achieve its potentials while relying on just a segment of her populace.
He then charged the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues to “take a cue from global best practices in the HeForShe Campaign and open a register of HeForShe Champions which will comprise of men and boys, who will commit to join in the campaign and provide the leadership needed to reach the goal of gender equality in the State”.
The State Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues Marie Edeko Esq. represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dorcas Idehen said the fundamental objective of HeForShe is to change discriminatory behaviours “through creating awareness of the importance of gender equality and women empowerment and the crucial role men can play to end the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally”.
Highpoint of the occasion was the recognition and investiture of opinion leaders and Stakeholders into the HeForShe Campaign project in Edo State, the 11th State to launch the campaign in Nigeria.