10 January 2013

Nigeria: Jonathan Promises Women Greater Access to Elective Offices in 2015

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday pledged that his administration would do more to give women greater access to elective offices in the next elections and beyond.

Jonathan made the pledge in Abuja at an audience with the United Nations Under-Secretary and Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet.

He said that he was determined to take women empowerment a step further by working to ensure that more women contest and win future elections in the country.

"We have done very well in terms of appointments and placement of women in positions of authority and we are still working to achieve a greater representation of women in elective offices.

"Let me assure you that we are committed to facilitating more successes by women in our next elections."

Jonathan said that his Administration would not rest on its oars over the economic and political empowerment of Nigerian women.

He also assured Bachelet that his government was fully committed to taking Nigeria as far as possible to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The President also re-affirmed his personal commitment to the accelerated reduction of maternal and infant mortality rates.

He said that he had directed that a comprehensive status report on Nigeria's current standing on the achievement of the MDGs be produced, with a view to identifying areas that require urgent action "to move the country rapidly towards their attainment".

Bachelet, the first female President of Chile, who is on an official visit to Nigeria, was accompanied to the Presidential Villa by Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Joy Ogwu.

She recommended and endorsed the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund by Nigeria.

Bachelet said that from her personal experience as President of her country, she had learnt that savings and investments made under such funds were very important for countries that rely on extractive industries.

She commended Jonathan for having already done a lot to fulfill his campaign promises on the empowerment of Nigerian women.

She also applauded Jonathan for appointing the first female Chief Justice of the Federation and female ministers for key ministries such as Finance, Petroleum, Communications Technology, Education, Water Resources, Housing, Environment, Power and Defence.

The UN Women Executive Director thanked Nigeria for being one of the strongest political and financial supporters of her agency in Africa.

She also commended Jonathan's efforts as co-Chair of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, and called for Nigeria's support for the UN's new initiative for the prevention of violence against women.

Copyright © 2013 Leadership. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.