8 March 2017

Nigeria: Sokoto Women Want Female Nigerian President

Women in Sokoto State are drumming up support for the emergence of a woman as Nigeria's President in 2019.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the women made their feelings known at a rally in Sokoto on Wednesday to mark the International Women's Day.

Aishatu Madawaki, who spoke on behalf of the women, lamented the continued marginalisation of women in all spheres of life in the country, including the political space.

She contended that only the emergence of a female president would end such marginalisation and allow women contribute more meaningfully to national development.

She, therefore, said women in the state would push for the emergence of a female president in Nigeria in 2019.

Ms. Madawaki, a Professor of Educational Psychology at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto said women should be given more space to exercise their rights in the country.

"For any development to take place, there has to be gender equity, hence, women should be given more chances to contribute to the political and socioeconomic development of the country.

"Women are very peaceful, tolerant, incorruptible and patriotic."

Governor Aminu Tambuwal, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Bashir Garba, said the government had given priority to issues of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Tambuwal noted that women have been playing creditable roles in the political and socioeconomic development of the state, assuring that the administration would not discriminate against them.

The governor challenged women in the country to participate more actively in party politics and other spheres of national development.

Also, the Speaker, Sokoto State House of Assembly, Salihu Maidaji, said women had contributed immensely to humanity, literature and warfare.

Represented by the House Leader, Garba Bello, the speaker, however, noted that "over the years, women have been relegated to the background in politics, education, public service and businesses."

In a message to the event, the Executive Director, United Nations Fund For Population Activities, UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin, declared that "gender equality is a human right."

Represented by the Head of UNFPA Kaduna Sub Office, Mariama Darboe, Mr. Osotimehin stressed that women were entitled to live in dignity and freedom from want, fear and discrimination.

"Gender equality is also vital to sustainable development and security. It is not just a women issue. It is an issue for all humanity.

"Sadly, despite some progress, the world still has a long way to go to achieve full gender equality."

(NAN)

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