President Muhammadu Buhari says women are a credible force in strengthening democracy and promoting the culture of peace and food security in the world.
The President said he was grateful for the role women had continued to play in his administration.
He made the remarks in Abuja when the National and International Working Groups of the Supporting Advancement of Gender Equity, SAGE, called on him.
President Buhari said Nigeria was committed to joining in the efforts of raising the bar for women’s representation at all levels.
He noted that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant problems, including the spike in gender-based violence, his administration promptly responded by declaring zero tolerance to gender-based violence in the country.
The President said he had since directed the Minister of Justice in collaboration with the Minister of Women’s Affairs to immediately inaugurate an Inter-Ministerial Gender Based Violence Management Committee to address all forms of violence against women and children in the country.
The President also said he had approved that 45 percent of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Funds be reserved exclusively for women, while five percent go to other vulnerable groups, apart from the immediate palliatives targeting them.
He noted that education of the girl child and the empowerment of mothers were fundamental to achieving an increase in the number of female leaders in the country, and the administration’s objective of lifting 100 million citizens out of poverty in 10 years.
The President said despite the spike of incidents of abduction of school children and other security challenges, the Government remained resolute in its pursuit of a just and credible society devoid of inequities, and promotion of the rule of law.
He said as leader of the governing party, he would lend his voice to the amendment of the party constitution, which is ongoing now and is the entry point for effective and meaningful participation of women in elective offices.
He assured that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Justice will work with the National Assembly to ensure the making of necessary reforms were passed in the ongoing constitutional and electoral reform processes.