NGO seeks support for FCT indigenous women

By Ruth Oketunde

A non-governmental organisation, Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls, has solicited support for the socio-economic and political development of FCT indigenous women.

The organisation’s Executive Director, Mrs Abiodun Essiet, made the plea at a town hall meeting organised for the FCT indigenous women on Wednesday in Abuja.

The meeting was organised to commemorate 2022 International Women’s Day, which is annually celebrated on every March 8.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 2022 celebration is with “#Break the Bias”, while the theme is “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.

Essiet said that in spite of their enormous assets and contributions to the society, the indigenous women suffered discriminations as women.

“Even in their vulnerability on these issues that affect them, the indigenous women of FCT have remained the backbone of their families as they play a vital role in the social, cultural, political and economic development of their communities.

“Their contribution to fostering and promoting socio-economic development can never be overemphasised as they exhibit tenacity and resilience as their male counterparts.

“Without the active engagement and participation of indigenous women and other women in various social-economic and political frameworks, the progress of the country will remain stagnant.

“FCT original inhabitants’ women have been homemakers right from the stone age, using their strength and energy to contribute to family needs and social development.

“They engage in farming and trading which are critical factors in nation-building,” she said.

The Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Mr Abdullahi Candido, said that it was time to create equal and equitable opportunity for FCT indigenous women and Nigerian women generally.

“This is a clear, direct and very simple demand for the women as it is very necessary and timely of which Nigeria should not be an exception.

“I want to beg the National Assembly members in particular to please have a rethink and revisit all the gender bills they said no to.

“It is a good idea and we must key behind what other nations are doing globally, let us give these woman what they are actually asking for, let us encourage them,” he said.

Similarly, the Councillor representing Ushafa Ward, Bwari Area Council of Abuja, Mrs Maryamu Barnabas, called on women to come out and partake in politics.

Barnabas, who is the only female councillor in the 62 wards in the FCT, said that with determination and resilience, she was able to break the gender bias by contesting and winning the election.

“The call I have for the indigenous women is for them to come out, they should not sit at home, because sitting at home will not help us.

“It is time for us to raise our voice to address issues affecting us,” she said.

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