Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has pledged to be bold for change, in line with the theme of the 2017 International Women’s Day.
Mr Dogara, who made the pledge on Wednesday to celebrate the 2017 International Women’s Day, stressed the importance of women inclusion in all fields of endeavour, and women empowerment in the country.
“A status quo that relegates women to the background is unhealthy for national development”, the Speaker said.
“Women make up approximately half of the Nigerian population, and it is extremely important that an environment that brings out the best in them and enables them reach their full potential, is provided. We can’t have half of our people unable to attain their goals or contribute meaningfully to the economy, and expect development.”
“We in the House of Representatives have a history of placing women in strategic positions culminating in the election of the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives in Nigeria. We have continued this tradition of Gender parity in the 8th House by placing our female colleagues in strategic positions of leadership in the House.
“Nigeria as a country must invest heavily on girl child education as a means of bridging the gap in school enrolment statistics between boys and girls and disparity in literacy levels. No child should be left behind in our society”.
The Speaker further said that: “we must resolve to do away with all laws and practices that encourage violence against women in our society”
The Speaker maintained that gender should not restrict the dreams and aspirations of millions of “our daughters so we all must be bold for change and support the women around us to achieve their goals and maximise their potentials and talents.”
“Recent studies show that Nigerian women are some of the most entrepreneurial in the world and as a nation,we must enact and implement laws and policies to further nurture this entrepreneurial spirit and empower our women.”
“I urge everyone to be bold for change – to support women, to respect women, to desist from and speak against all actions that endanger women”, the Speaker concluded.