… PIC calls for gender inclusion
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, says there is still much to be done for Nigeria to achieve regional and global competitiveness.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja recently on NESG’s ‘Gender and Inclusion Summit’ billed to take place on November 16, Jaiyeola said Nigeria lagged peers in critical Sustainable Development Goals’ priorities with a performance score of 46.4, noting that gender equality was a key accelerator for achieving the goals.
He said the essence of the summit was to explore transformative ways of achieving gender and inclusion, while accelerating the actualisation of the SDGs.
Quoting the World Economic Forum 2021, Jaiyeola said Africa’s most populous nation ranked 139 out of 149 countries on the global gender index, which pointed to the need for joint efforts towards reducing gender-inequality-related losses.
“Women are disproportionately affected by unequal treatment on the basis of gender. Men are, however, not left. A recent analysis by the United Nations reported that by 2030, for every 100 men living in poverty, there will be 121 women if deliberate steps are not taken to counter the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“The World Bank reports that about 14.9% of Nigerians live with disability, lack of access to essential services, with attitudinal barriers representing a significant impediment to their socioeconomic inclusion.”
He commended the Nigerian government for making realistic efforts towards achieving inclusion, citing the National Gender Policy and the National Gender Action Plan as evidence of the government’s interest in achieving equality.
He said the high-level forum on the SDGs had partnered with the Policy Innovation Centre (PIC), which was an initiative of NESG, to ensure seamless delivery of the summit. He noted that this would be the first national-level gender and inclusion summit.
“The high-level forum on the SDGs is a programme currently run by the NESG with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, towards actualization of the SDGs by 2030, including the attainment of Gender Equality.”
Deputy Director, PIC, Dr Osasuyi Dirisu, said the summit was not just about women but was meant to connect the dots among men.
She said women empowerment programmes had fared badly over the years due to lack of engagement with men.
“With deep reflections, a lot of programmes are beginning to see the importance of men’s engagement,” she said, noting that there was a need for mindset change to achieve gender equality across board.