Saraki promises women greater participation in governance

Senate President Bukola Saraki has assured women that that the senate would work to ensure that more women are given opportunity to aspire and occupy leadership positions in the country.

Saraki made the promise in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, when a delegation of female students from Model Secondary School, Maitama, Abuja, visited him as part of activities marking this year’s International Women’s Day.

The senate president fielded questions from the visiting students on diverse issues as abductions, insecurity, kidnapping, education and female participation in politics among others.

He assured them that government would continue to create equal opportunities for women, check abduction of Nigerians and stop the violence against women.

Saraki added that efforts would be made to promote the equality of gender in entrepreneurship, especially in the fields of science and technology, and also put measures in place to effectively discourage child marriage in the country.

According to him, the senate has “identified six issues concerning women that are very important. One of them is to stop the level of abduction and kidnapping that currently readily come under focus, as far as girls are concerned.

On the issue of violence, Saraki said the senate was going to look at the law and determine the extent of its bite, noting that, “if it is too lax, we are going to bring in stiffer penalties to stop violence against women and to protect the girl-child.

Among other issues touched by him were gender equality, child marriage and women participation in governance.

“We have to agree as members of parliament, we have to lobby to have affirmative action that will encourage gender balancing. This we will do majorly through the efforts of our female senators in collaboration with all members of the parliament, to ensure that we focus on how to solve the challenges,” he said.

Other senators who spoke at the visit included Mosurat Sunmonu, Rose Okoh and Fatimat Raji Rasaki who, counselled women to be resolute in their pursuits, adding that with determination, they can achieve all there desires in life.

Earlier, leader of the team, Ugonma Akanu, said the visit was meant to seek answers to “some burning issues” concerning the girl-child and women in the Nigerian context, as part of activities to mark the International Women’s Day.

Akanu urged the federal government to ensure more educational access for girls and also consider deploying armed security men to safeguard schools across the country, in view of the adverse activities of insurgents and kidnappers, who have made schools the target of their nefarious activities.