11 January 2013

Nigeria: FG Spent N49 Billion On Women in Four Years - Minister

Abuja — The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs I, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government spent N49 billion to provide education, health and economic empowerment for Nigerian women in the last four years.

Onwuliri made this known in Abuja yesterday when she received the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, in audience.

The Minister informed her guest that the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to gender equity, adding that key positions in the cabinet and national polity were occupied by women who have distinguished themselves and proven themselves worthy of their appointments.

She also expressed the readiness of the Nigerian government to sustain the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination against women.

Bachelet, who was President of Chile between 2006 and 2010, applauded the efforts of the Nigerian government, and called for intensified efforts to encourage women to enter politics for elective posts, especially at the state and national levels.

She pledged the support of the UN to any initiative that would assist women attain political offices, insisting that developmental efforts directed at gender issues would yield fruits faster in the quest for national development.

"When women are economically empowered, they use their resources in education, health and other necessary sectors which would benefit the home and the community," she said.

Bachelet also harped on the necessity of Nigeria to lead the African group on conventions and international instruments that seek to protect women globally from violence and discrimination of all sorts.

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