ActionAid Nigeria has called on government at all levels to adopt a care-centered approach in re-organising the economy and society while addressing issues of injustice and other vices against women.
Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, made the call in a statement to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.
The statement was signed by Ms Lola Ayanda, Communications Coordinator for the social justice Non-Governmental Organisation working to promote women’s rights, combat poverty and all forms of injustice in Nigeria.
“As the country re-strategises to rise above the current situation, we call for the adoption of a care-centered approach which recognises that care and well-being are critical to sustaining societies, economies, and the environment.
“The commemoration of the 2021 International Women’s Day is a strong reminder of the unanticipated struggles of Nigerian women who were the hardest hit by social and economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020.
“Many lost their paid jobs and women became saddled with the unpaid responsibility of caring for sick family members and providing their needs often in vulnerable, low paid roles with little protection.
“Reports of domestic violence doubled amidst an almost paralysed support system for survivors of violence due to the lockdowns.
“As the country re-strategises to rise above this current situation, we call for the adoption of a care-centered approach which recognises that care and well-being are critical to sustaining societies, economies, and the environment,” Obi said.
The Country Director hinted that care-centered approach also entailed investing in gender-based violence prevention and response in all public and private spaces.
Obi held that the theme for 2021 International Women’s Day, “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” was apt adding, “Today, we recommit to challenging and calling out gender bias and inequality.
“We join the world to amplify #ChooseToChallenge and call on all Nigerians to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.
“Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive Nigeria where the empowerment and fulfilment of the rights of women and girls is normalised,” she added.
Obi implored the Nigerian government to reflect and move from policy to action, classify and prioritise all Gender Based Violence (GBV) services as essential services and ensure that they are publicly funded, universal and gender responsive without discrimination. (NAN)