BY EDIDEM UYA in Calabar•
All levels of governments in Nigeria have been urged to initiate policies and programmes that will address the high level of gender disparity at all levels of in the country.
This is necessary in order to guarantee long-term sustainable development, economic growth, resilient societies and social advancement for all.
This charge was made by the YouLead Project Coordinator for Cross River State, Jerry Nwigwe who spoke with journalists on the sideline of the on-going International Women’s Day Celebration in the State.
Mr. Nwigwe stressed that governments at all levels should initiate policies and programmes that will address the gender gap index existing between women and their male counterparts in political and economic sphere in the country so as to strike a balance.
The Project Coordinator whose project is working under the auspices of CUSO International (a Canadian NGO) said that, “progress towards gender equality in Nigeria has been slow with gender disparity being stark.
“In 2013, Nigeria ranked 106 out of a total of 136 countries on gender gap index which measures gender equality in economic participation, educational attainment, health and the economic environment.
“Nigeria has an overall score of 0.647 of particular concern is the level of political empowerment at 0.119 stressing that the highest possible score stood at 1 (equality) with the lowest possible score at zero (inequality)”.
He called on government at all levels to come up with strategies that will help mainstream gender equality in opportunities distribution embark upon by government.
He maintained that it was on the basis of trying to strike a balance that the Youlead Project came up with a Gender Equality Strategy that will guide the design and implementation of its projects to ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed in its projects.
He told Oracle today that the YouLead project has a target to train 12, 000 youths for a period of five years as well as a target to strengthen 5, 000 businesses, a project he said is being supported by Global Affairs, Canada.
So far, the project he said has trained up to 9, 200 youths and they have 2,800 to go and the youths and businesses are spread across the 18 local government areas of the state.