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NPC, STAKEHOLDERS CANVASS PROTECTION, PROMOTION OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS

July 12, 2023

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The National Population Commission (NPC) has expressed concerns over the plights of women, calling for the recognition and respect of their rights to equal opportunities in the country.

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The National Population Commission (NPC) has expressed concerns over the plights of women, calling for the recognition and respect of their rights to equal opportunities in the country.

Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, stated this during the 2023 World Population Day commemorated in Abuja with the theme: “Unleashing the Power of Gender Equality: Uplifting the Voices of Women and Girls to Unlock our World’s Infinite Possibilities.”

Kwarra represented by the NPC Federal Commissioner, Anambra State, Hon. Chidi Christopher Ezeoke, mni, stressed the need for a collective responsibility to tackle issues and concerns raised by the theme, calling on all stakeholders to evaluate efforts and reaffirm commitments to promote gender equality in Nigeria.

According to him, it has become pertinent to generate a renewed commitment to put women and girls at the centre of development, where they would be seen, heard and accepted.

He emphasised that Nigeria and the global community can only be able to secure a world of gender equality; a world where their Rights and Choices are respected and accorded the desired priority when women’s voices are amplified.

“Voices of women and girls should be recognized and given deserved attention regarding their pertinent needs in terms of quality education, participation in the workforce; good representation in political positions across all levels; access to quality health care services including family planning, information and commodities;

“Protection from harmful practices that impede their wellbeing and mar their future; protection from decisions that make them unequal across societies, then, and only then will Nigeria and the global community be able to secure a world of gender equality; a world where their Rights and Choices are respected and accorded the desired priority,” he stressed.

“Today’s event is envisaged to create and sustain platforms for engagements that will garner collective ideas, information and creativity on the best options to change the narrative regarding the plight of women and girls including young people in the world of 8 billion people.

“We look forward to deepening our partnerships in order to guarantee a world where women and girls’ voices find expression in concerns that matter most to their lives and existence for the emergence of a world where peace and progress thrive,” he added.

In his goodwill message, spokesperson of the Population Advisory Group (PAG) Ambassador Usman Sarki, stated that gender equality remains central in the full implementation of the National Population Policy (NPP); as well as in addressing all the matters regarding the importance of women and girls in securing an inclusive and progressive society.

“When we ignore the voices of women and girls in the world of 8 billion, it will lead to limiting their agency and ability to make decisions that are critical to their wellbeing, such as in the areas of health, education as well as employment and wealth creation,” he said.

The Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr. Salma Ibrahim Anas stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria has intensified calls to tackle maternal mortality aimed at protecting women and girls.

Dr. Salma Anas, therefore, urged stakeholders to unite against maternal mortality for the protection of women and girls.

She called for increased access to family planning services and commodities across the country.

She reassured President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to a healthier and better Nigeria.

Erika Goldson, Deputy Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said that unlocking the full potential of girls would galvanise good leadership.

Goldson regretted that a larger number of women and girls in many communities could not exercise their rights and advised that efforts be intensified to protect the rights of everyone.

Recall that World Population Day is part of an international awareness campaign celebrated annually to beam global attention to the current population trends impacting the world. It brings to the front burner the urgency and importance of global population issues and the necessity to address the challenges posed by sustained global population growth and demographic-related issues.

This year’s world population day buttresses the positive impact of SDG5 – Gender Equality.

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