Kwara State Holds 1st Gender Equality Conference
Governor of Kwara AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq Friday addressed the state’s first Gender Equality conference, even as the country’s Independence Day was celebrated.
AbdulRazaq said the double events were no coincidence, saying the conference is timed to galvanize global opinions around the agenda for women in Africa.
“On behalf of the people and government of Kwara State, I welcome all of you to this historic event. It is our first annual Gender Equality Conference in Kwara State. This gathering reaffirms our commitment to gender parity, women protection, empowerment and inclusion”, he said.
AbdulRazaq in a statement said the aim of the conference is to offer a strong platform to state and non-state actors alike to discuss domestic, bilateral and multilateral strategies to increase women’s participation in our societies.
“True to that, we are joined at this conference by some of the strongest voices in the clamour for better opportunities for women in Africa,” he said.
He added that Kwara State is actively taking the lead in the campaign for gender inclusion due to his administration’s conviction that “a society works better and grows faster when no one is denied equal opportunities to succeed.”
The Governor said he had not only appointed 56 percent female cabinet in Kwara, but made moves to ensure that around 50 percent of the new permanent secretaries are women who merited the positions. Similarly, top government positions across Grade-A MDAs are held by accomplished women.
“This has been done to give voice to the women and drive inclusion. We also look forward to assisting our women to make inroads into elective offices,” governor AbdulRazaq opined.
“We are also doing so much on the economic plain to empower women and inspire hope in the girl child. 70 percent of beneficiaries of our TraderMoni are women, while indigent, old women are also prioritised in the soon-to-begin safety net programme for the elderly called Owo Arugbo. The administration has also recently received some grants from the Dangote Foundation for 16,000 women.”
Governor AbdulRazaq informed that the CBN has approved the distribution of 200,000 broiler dual-purpose chickens to 10,000 rural women across Kwara State under the Bank’s and the Ministry of Agriculture’s Noiler Chicken Expansion Scheme.
“I must add that there are downsides also. But they are not enough to deter us from doing what is right and just.
“As I have mentioned recently however, gender inclusion would gain wider acceptance if various political leaders and government institutions have something to lose if they shut the door against women. For this reason, I call on development partners to make gender inclusion a condition for states actors to access certain support.”