The United Nations Women (UN Women) has established a “HeForShe” Network, a campaign platform for men and boys to promote gender equality and women empowerment in Kaduna State.
The UN Women’s Programme Specialist, Mr Peter Mancha, who disclosed this at a one-day workshop for members of the network in Kaduna on Thursday, August 11, 2022, said that men need to work with women to achieve gender equality.
Mancha said that the “HeForShe” campaign in collaboration with the Ministry for Human Services and Social Development (MHSSD) was designed to mobilise men and boys to support gender equality in the state.
Mancha explained that the ‘HeForShe’ was a solidarity movement that would provide a systematic approach and platform on which men and boys serve as change agents toward the achievement of gender equality.
According to him, the “HeForShe” campaign, initiated by the United Nations in 2014, is key to the realisation of gender equality in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The ‘HeForShe’ campaign was officially launched in Nigeria on May 23, 2017, by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development with support from UN Women.
“The campaign was subsequently inaugurated in 12 States across the country and will be inaugurated in Kaduna state very soon as the 13th state.”
He said that the “HeForShe” campaign was under the Women Peace and Security in Nigeria, Phase II project, 2022 to 2024 in six states, with Kaduna and Plateau as primary benefiting states.
Mancha identified the secondary states as Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi and Benue.
He explained that the workshop was for the participants to understand gender equality and how they can contribute to peace and security
He added that members of the network would develop a workplan and establish a coordinating structure to guide implementation of the work plan and activities of the network.
The programme commended Kaduna State Government for including a reasonable number of women in decision making positions in the state civil service and political offices.
Hajiya Hafsat Baba, the state Commissioner, MHSSD, said that women currently constitute 60 per cent of the State Executive Council.
Baba pointed out that achieving gender equality requires an inclusive approach that both recognises men and boys as partners for the push for women’s rights.
Members of the network were drawn from government agencies, traditional and religious leaders, security agencies, civil society organisations and gender advocates.
By Philip Yatai