by Rachel Ogbu
In celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day, March 8, with the UN theme – “A Promise is a Promise: Time For Action To End Violence Against Women”, President Goodluck Jonathan has reassured Nigerian women that having already taken very significant steps to fulfil his promise of affirmative action to further empower Nigerian women, his administration will continue to build on its achievements in this regard and do all within its powers to curb violence against women.
In a press statement released by Special Adviser to the President, Reuben Abati, President Jonathan also seized the opportunity of the occasion to pledge the Federal Government’s full support for “COMMIT”– the new United Nations initiative which calls on leaders worldwide to take a stand to end violence against women and girls.
The statement read:
President Jonathan fully believes that Nigerian women can be equal partners with men in the implementation of his administration’s Agenda for National Transformation and will therefore carry on doing everything possible to ensure that they are politically and economically empowered to contribute even more positively to the national development effort.
Having already broken gender barriers by appointing women to key positions in government including the first female Chief Justice of the Federation and female ministers for very important ministries such as Finance, Petroleum, Communications Technology, Education, Water Resources, Housing, Environment, Power, Defence and the Federal Capital Territory, and authorizing the admission of women to the Nigerian Defence Academy and their commissioning as combatants in the Armed Forces, the President assures Nigerian women that he is determined to take their empowerment a step forward by working to ensure that they also get better representation in elective offices in future.
As International Women’s Day 2013 is marked, President Jonathan also reaffirms his personal commitment to the accelerated reduction of maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria and assures Nigerian women that the Federal Government will continue to work for its attainment through the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children which he co-chairs.
The President wishes Nigerian women a very happy International Women’s Day.