NBA calls for prioritization of issues relating to gender equality
Sunday Ejike – Abuja
As Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said, issues relating to gender equality and empowerment must be prioritized and addressed head-on to achieve transformative change in the country.
The NBA President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) said in a statement on Wednesday that, the cultural, historical, and anthropological excuses for placing issues of women on the back burner in the past centuries, are no longer tenable in the light of giant strides and advances in technology.
According to the NBA boss, “It has been shown that there is no empirical basis for the assumed limited capacity and capability of women. The ongoing global technological disruption will have a maximum positive impact if, and only when, there is unrestricted access to all, the legal profession is no exception.”
He said the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria prohibits discrimination against persons on the basis of sex, amongst other things, thus granting everyone equal status before the law and added that the NBA, the umbrella body of legal practitioners called to the Nigerian Bar, is committed to working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that innovative policies and practices are adopted for the advancement of women.
“We will continue to work with the government to ensure that our laws and policies reflect gender equality and equity. We will also partner with national and international developmental agencies to guard against the exploitation of our women and guarantee their continued participation in society; playing pivotal and not just subsidiary roles.
“We note with concern that, out of the 193 candidates who have contested the Presidency of this country since her return to democracy in 1999, only four of them are women. In the just concluded presidential election of 25 February 2023, only one female aspirant appeared on the ballot against 17 male candidates.
“It is our firm belief that, with proactive policies and innovative solutions, more women will continue to find their voice in society. Consequently, we will continue to stand up for not just equal opportunities for all, but also for gender equity,” the statement reads.
In celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day, he said the association acknowledges and celebrates the female pioneers in the legal profession who had blazed the trail for others to follow and shattered glass ceilings to reach for the stars in a hitherto male-dominated sphere.
March 8 every year is set aside to celebrate women and their outstanding achievements and contributions to society and this year’s theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”, which focuses on innovation, the NBA said, has given the world a veritable platform to assess and re-assess how to maximise the use of digital technology to bridge the gender gap.
Maikyau said the next global agenda should therefore put in place developmental policies and pragmatic mechanisms to accelerate equality and equity with the aid of technology.
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