The Edo State Government has charged Special Assistants on Gender in the state to strengthen structures in their communities that will facilitate change in the socio-economic conditions of women across the state.
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen, said this during a one-day orientation programme organised for the Special Assistants in Benin City, the state capital. Ohenhen told the special assistants that as women, they were in a better position to champion gender issues that affect their colleagues across the state and help to monitor the mainstreaming of women in development initiatives.
The orientation programme, she said, was organised to prepare the aides for the tasks ahead, as the governor expects them to be instrumental in organising women to benefit from social empowerment policies. According to her, the need for women to be in the vanguard of gender-sensitive initiatives is imperative because many women are vulnerable to the vagaries of life. “If women in the state are better organised to participate in governance, gender issues confronting them will be easily tackled by government.
“When women are socially and economically empowered, the society would be a better for it,” she added.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender, Ms Efosa Uyigue, urged the appointees to collaborate with the local government councils in identifying gender-based issues confronting women at the grassroots and help in ameliorating them. Ms. Uyigue listed some of the areas of focus to include access to health services and education for women, cleanliness and empowerment opportunities for women.