By Ndidichukwu Odoh
Vaccine network for Disease Control, has called on traditional and community leaders in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory to ensure gender balance and inclusion of women in strategic leadership Positions in their communities.
Executive Director of Vaccine network, Mrs. Chika Offor made the call in Abuja at the gathering of traditional and community leaders to discuss issues of Gender Equality, Women leadership, and social inclusion as it affects women.
Offor said that the role of women in development is key and should not be overlooked in communities where men dominate every leadership position making it difficult for women to make reasonable contribution to the development to their communities.
She stated that Women are home makers and are naturally nurtured to lead, but preventing them from participating in leadership is discrimination which is unacceptable.
“We are advocating for inclusiveness, empowerment for every woman because when you empower a woman, you have empowered a whole generation. Our goal is to have more women is strategic leadership position, that way they can be a strong voice for gender inclusiveness at all levels. We do not have that in most of the communities in Abuja, this makes it difficult for certain interventions for women to happen” Offor said
In her comment, Zainab Zakare Women Leader of Basanjuwa Community in Abuja Municipal Area Council, said Survival for women in her community is difficult, majority play key role and contribute economically at home but are not allowed in leadership.
“Women in my Community are hard working, some of them are the ones who work and provide for their families, the men are just there as the father of the house, when women are given opportunity to lead, they can contribute and make sure that we have hospitals where we can go for childbirth, schools for our children, and a good market where we can go and sell our goods” Said Zainab
Women In Basanjuwa Community according to Zainab still travel over 30 kilometers before they access a good hospital during childbirth, “some people end up giving birth on their way to the hospital” she said