The He-for-She, a solidarity campaign for the advancement of women initiated by the United Nations Women, has been launched in Nigeria.
The campaign is aimed at engaging men and boys as agents of change by encouraging them to take action against gender inequality.
Launching the campaign at the International Conference Centre, ICC, Abuja, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said gender equality is an imperative of justice and fairness in every society.
“It is an entitlement, a debt owed to women and it is not a gift. It is perhaps the greatest leap of development in contemporary history,”the acting President stated
He said the campaign has challenged men and boys to stand with women in the struggle for gender equality.
“When boys and girls can today take gender equality for granted, women and girls would be free potentials and have equal pay for equal work. The full potential of over half of the population of the world will finally be unleashed. The implications of this for vastly improved quality of life for all can only be imagined,” Professor Osinbajo stated.
Women can compete favourably
The Acting President said educated women and girls can favourably compete with their male counterparts anywhere in the world.
Over 40% of the women population is illiterate, making them unable to get decent jobs like men.
“And illiteracy means that they would not find decent working jobs; that they would, in many places, be married off early; many would be discriminated against in inheritance rights or punitive widowhood practices,” the Acting President said.
Contributing to Nation building
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, said the equality being asked by women is for them to have opportunity to contribute to nation building.
She said the He-for-She campaign would place men and boys side by side with women and girls to break all barriers to gender equality.
Others who spoke at the event were the UN Women Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Phyliss Nwokedi.