IWD 2022: Tallen calls on Nigerians to promote gender equality

By Ijeoma Okigbo

Women Affairs Minister Pauline Tallen has called on all Nigerians to join hands together to promote gender equality in the country.

Tallen made the call at the 5th edition of Generation Equality International Football Tournament organised by Fame Foundation, a Non-governmental Organisation, as part of the activities marking this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).

The minister, who performed the event’s kick-off in Abuja, said women should be given the opportunity to be policy makers.

“God did not make a mistake by creating a woman. He didn’t create a woman to be trampled upon.

“He created women to be a help-mate, a partner in progress, so we are calling on Nigerian men and everyone to join hands together and move the issue of women forward,’’ Tallen said.

She also called on women in the country to continue to strive while moaning the Gender Equality Bill that was turned down by the National Assembly last week.

“ I pray that this year’s IWD will be better than the previous years, even though we had setback as the Gender Equality bill was rejected by the National Assembly.

“We are not giving up; we will continue to push until we change the mindset of people and improve the participation of women in politics and beyond,’’ she added.

Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, who at the event, said sports and football in particular, were tools to advocate for gender equality.

“ It is important to use football as a mechanism to show how women can come together and push gender equality.

“March 8 is a day we celebrate women and today we are doing that through this football match.

“We will also take stock of the work that needs to be done and we know that in Nigeria our work is not done yet.

“Also for the benefit of these young women who are participating in this competition, I think it is very important that we put in place measures, so that all Nigerian can realise their full potential.

“This is a message we are communicating through this football match today,’’ Lamptey said.

On her part, Aderonke Bello, the Executive Director of Fame Foundation, said sports was a unifying tool that brought Nigerians together irrespective of our different culture and background.

“Nigeria is heterogeneous in nature. We have our diversity in terms of religion, tribe, geopolitical zone and more.

“The only thing that brings us together is sports, especially football.

“That is why we are using this unifying factor as a tool for social change to preach against gender inequality, gender-based violence and call for gender equity,“ Bello said.

Meanwhile, a total of 10 teams featured in the 2022 edition of the event. Team UN, USA, NCWS, UK and Iya Loja participated.

Others are Team NAWOJ/ FCT SWAN, FAME/AMAC, BREKETE Family and EU.

The IWD is marked globally on March 8 with “Break The Bias’’ as the theme of this year’s celebration. (NAN)

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