Nigeria Hails the Generation Equality Campaign to Kick Off International Women’s Month 2020
05 March 2020
In March 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the United Nations, partner organisations and civil society are dedicating the entire month of March to commemorate the strength, resilience and achievements of Nigeria women, whilst also highlighting persisting challenges to achieving gender equality, during International Women’s Month. Each year, the 8th of March is celebrated globally as International Women’s Day – a day set aside in recognition of the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. This year’s theme is I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights.
The commemoration of International Women’s Month in Nigeria involves a series of activities and events which began with a press briefing on the 28th of February by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, and which will culminate on the 31st of March with the launch of the Generation Equality campaign.
The Generation Equality Campaign is a global campaign spearheaded by UN Women to inspire and bring together the next generations of women’s rights activists with the gender equality advocates and visionaries who were instrumental in creating the Beijing Platform for Action 25 years ago. Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka notes the impatience of this generation to close the inequality gaps on all fronts, and especially with the unmoving economic inequality. “Women and girls use triple the time and energy of boys and men to look after the household. That costs them equal opportunities in education, in the job market and in earning power. It’s a driver of repeating poverty. Young women raising families are 25 per cent more likely than men to live in extreme poverty, affecting millions of young children, with impacts that last into later life for both mother and child.”
At the press briefing to kick start International Women’s Month in Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen described the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as a progressive platform for women’s rights. She underscored the commitment of her ministry to driving the agenda for women’s empowerment and gender equality in Nigeria, and called on all stakeholders to work in partnership with the ministry to positively impact the lives of women and girls and to enable them to realize their full potential. Dame Tallen also highlighted the importance of including men and boys as advocates of gender equality.
UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, speaking on behalf of the United Nations at the press briefing, noted that whilst Nigeria had made some progress in advancing women’s rights over the past 25 years, such as in promoting girls education and adopting laws to protect women from violence, persisting gender inequalities in other areas including the under-representation of women in politics and high levels of maternal mortality constitute setbacks to realizing the national development vision of the country. She called on all Nigerians to recognize that now is the time to take bold, concrete steps in ensuring that we make significant progress towards achieving gender equality by the year 2030.