She Forum Africa has called on governments at all levels to prioritise gender issues especially those that have to do with health.
The Founder of She Forum Africa, Ms. Inimfon Etuk, made the call when the Forum in partnership with Pathfinder International paid a visit to the National Council for Women’s Societies (NCWS) Thursday in Abuja.
According to Ms Etuk, the authorities should improve their decision making as it relates to women’s health and empowerment.
She said: “Health is fundamental to every achievement a woman can get. We maintain that health is an important matter that needs to be prioritised by the government, the executive, and the legislature. If we don’t have the right access to quality healthcare, the Nigerian woman will still be left behind on a number of things. And this is something Nigeria as a country must prioritize if you would move forward to achieve the SDGs for all.
“We are leveraging the fact that this is a transition period for Nigeria. We are pushing forward the narrative and advocacy that the country should accelerate development on all the sectors including the SDGs; everything involving women and girls has to be prioritised.
“We understand that as the new administration comes in, they are going to need a look out of guidance and they are going to be faced with a lot of decision making issues, and we don’t want them to go all over the place when it comes to issues that have to do with women and girls.
“We are taking the initiatives and engaging with other stakeholders that have similar goals and aspirations as us and establish some sought of framework as the new administration kicks in,” she explained.
While pointing that the issues still remain the same despite strong advocacy over the years, the She Forum chief said there is need to adopt a new approach in order to achieve results.
“The gaps that women are advocating are still the same, only in a new dimension. What we are doing differently is how we are engaging, forming new alliances particularly with men. We are consciously seeking male alliances to be the voices for women’s health and rights in Nigeria. We are interacting with religious and traditional institutions, all the groups that affect the life of women and girls. We are interacting with them differently this time engaging, supporting and seeking their inputs on how we can all find solutions to the pending challenges for women and girls,” she said.
On her part, Nigeria Country Director for Pathfinder International, Dr. Amina Aminu Dorayi called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency on women’s health.
Dr. Aminu Dorayi, also revealed maternal mortality figures in Nigeria rose to 28 per cent in 2022.
According to her, if women fail, the global community has failed.
The Pathfinder International Country Director said her organization was ready to partner with various NGOs and other stakeholders especially those that amplify the voice of women.
“There is a need to have one common voice both in the rural and urban area, and there is no better time to speak up than now,” she said.
She said the organization will “identify gaps and use it as an advocacy tool for the incoming administration.”
Commenting, NCWS National President Lami Adamu Lau assured that the Council was ready to work with both organizations noting that there is a need to get the buy-in of women at the grass root.
She also noted with technology taking the centre stage globally, she reiterated the need for increased advocacy to get women
“We need to fashion out areas of collaboration,” she stressed.
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