The Kano State Government in collaboration with the High-Level Women Advocates (HILWA), with the support of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), this week, hosted series of weeklong activities in commemoration of the 2020 International Women’s Day (IWD2020) under the theme: ‘an equal world is an enabled world.’
The International Women’s Day is a UN-dedicated day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also serving as a call to action for accelerating gender equality. It is commemorated every March 8 in celebration of women’s rights and also to inspire people to act in the ongoing fight for gender equality.
The series of events held in Kano were aimed at celebrating women’s contributions to society, raising awareness about the fight for gender parity; providing a unified direction to galvanize collective and sustained actions to accelerate gender equality; as well as holding duty bearers accountable for strategic actions that would reposition women’s role in contributing to the development of society.
As part of the commemoration, members of HILWA Thursday led a select group of school girls and boys on advocacy visits to the state commissioners for education and women affairs, demanding for equal rights for boys and girls to quality learning in schools. Amongst others, the students advocated to the commissioners the need to address educational challenges such as inadequate number of qualified teachers in basic and post basic schools across Kano state; inadequate sources of safe drinking water and WASH facilities in schools; congestion in classes; lack of equipment in laboratories; as well as gender-based violence (GBV).
Speaking during a media dialogue with journalists hosted by HILWA members, Yardada Maikano, a HILWA member and the special adviser to Kano state governor on NGOs and donor agencies, said although Kano had a large population of women, the society could only benefit from the women if it educates and empower them to contribute to societal development. “If they are neglected there will be more problems in society. Educated women make significant difference in society, most especially at the family level,” she said.
Despite the huge female population in Kano (which is Nigeria’s most populous state) women continue to be significantly underrepresented in political and decision-making positions. According to Nigeria’s 2006 population census, females constitute 4, 453, 336 out of Kano’s total population of 9, 401, 288. The projected 2020 population puts the figure of females at 6, 777, 806 out of a total population of 14, 308, 399; which means 47% of Kano’s population is female.
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