The United Nations in Nigeria calls for equal rights and equal opportunities for women
ABUJA, 5 March 2010—“Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals—peace, security, sustainable development—stand in jeopardy,” says United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day, marked worldwide and in Nigeria on 8 March.
“Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities” is the United Nations’ rallying cry this International Women’s Day. When women and girls realize their right to equal opportunities in all spheres of life, including education, work, health and justice, they are better able to protect their own wellbeing as well as that of their children. Equal opportunities and rights lead to women gaining the physical and economic strength and the freedom they need to reach their own potential as individuals, and contribute fully to the life of their family, their community and the nation. Equal opportunities and rights lead to women gaining the physical and economic strength and the freedom they need to reach their own potential as individuals, and contribute fully to the life of their family, their community and the nation.
In Nigeria, gender equality is at the heart of the United Nations agencies’ work because it is essential for development. The UN country team is working with all levels of the Nigerian Government as well as civil society and development partners to get millions of girls into of school, improve women and girls’ access to basic health services like immunization and ante natal care, protect them from sexual exploitation, trafficking and crime, and help them win equality in the workplace.
To make this work sustainable, each UN agency brings its particular expertise and resources to support the development of gender-sensitive policies and governance reforms, and helps the Government monitor their implementation.
“Supporting gender equality is one of the UN’s core responsibilities in Nigeria,” said Helder Muteia, UN Resident Coordinator a.i., “because until women and men can seize every opportunity to realize their human rights and be full citizens, Nigerians cannot realize the goals they have set themselves.”
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a comprehensive global policy framework to achieve the goals of gender equality, development and peace, which called for action on 12 key issues: poverty, education and training, health, violence against women, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and girls.
For more information, contact the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC):