CISLAC calls for innovation, technology for gender equality
By Abiodun Azi
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has lauded Nigerian women who in spite double exploitation, discrimination, and segregation are still making positive contribution toward socio-economic and political development in Nigeria.
This was disclosed in a statement by Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director, CISLAC as the world marked International Women’s Day on March 8..
However, Rafsanjani said that regrettably, the National Assembly constitutional amendment for which Nigerians canvassed for gender mainstreaming to minimise discrimination of women, and denial in political participation of women to foster social integration, issues of indignity were all thrown away by the 9th Assembly.
He said in spite popular support canvassed during the public hearing, the Ahmed Lawal-led National Assembly leadership deprived this opportunity for women to be mainstreamed into socio-economic and political development in Nigeria.
“Similarly, the outcome of the recently concluded National Assembly elections which was meant to utilize technological innovation across the country was a huge setback to the country’s push towards the achievement of the affirmative action.
“Out of the seven female serving Senators in the 9th Assembly, the result announced by INEC so far indicates that none of the female senators will be returning, and only 3 new female senators have been announced so far.
“CISLAC notes with serious concerns the situation across some states where women were targeted in electoral conflict, physical and virtual intimidation, as well as harassment in the cause of discharging their civic duties.
“This is despite the support they provide to political parties and governance in Nigeria.
“CISLAC celebrates Mrs Jennifer Sheifagha who despite being attacked and injured by thugs in Lagos, went back to cast her ballot after receiving treatment.
“ CISLAC considers her action heroic, and condemn in the strongest term, acts of thuggery, and demand that the perpetrators of the dastardly act be brought to justice,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that from the earliest days of computing to the present age of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, women have made untold contributions to the digital world in which we live.
He said women’s accomplishments have been against all odds, in a field that has historically neither welcomed nor appreciated them.
He said unfortunately,women make up only 22 per cent of Artificial Intelligence workers globally.
He said a global analysis of 133 Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems across industries found that 44.2 per cent demonstrate gender bias.
He said that CISLAC was by this opportunity of this year’s commemoration of women day and working together with other global partners at the Ongoing United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) 67th session that is happening in New York.
He called on governments, corporate entities and to double their efforts to make the digital world safer, more inclusive and equitable.
He said that CISLAC was making the following demands towards achieving gender equality in the country.
“CISLAC is urging that the 10th NASS reintroduce and pass all the gender bills that were rejected by the 9th Assembly.
“CISLAC is urging government at all levels to adopt collective solutions to improve sexual and reproductive health rights and pursue the achievement of the 95% digital literacy in Nigeria.
“We urge the government to prioritize nutrition education, workforce nutrition, food fortification and sensitisation campaign towards the reduction in the consumption of salt in the country.
“We are urging government at all levels to implement strategies that has the potential of reducing financial hardships caused by climate shocks with its attendant likelihood of school dropouts of girls, resulting in child marriages, teenage pregnancies, and sexual trafficking of girls and women.
“We demand the government to fully implement the Safe School Initiative to guarantee the safety of school children, especially for girl children. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Vivian Ihechu