Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs), Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has revealed that 60 per cent of 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria are girls.
Orelope-Adefulire made this assertion during the inauguration of the United Nations (UN) Women’s SDGs Report entitled: “Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” on Monday in Abuja.
She was represented by the Programme Secretary, SDGs, Alhaji Lamido Waziri.
Orelope-Adefulire also said that 35 per cent of women and girls aged 15 and older were subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner as at 2017.
According to her, only 24.8 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 years made their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive healthcare.
The aide opined that what we are doing today is directly supporting the attainment of SDGs on the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.
“The report provides a comprehensive and authoritative assessment of progress, gaps and challenges to date in the implementation of the SDGs from a gender perspective.
“More importantly, the report highlights issues on the centrality of gender equality in the achievement of all the 17 SDGs and the policies needed to achieve them.
“Remember that 60 per cent of the approximately 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria are girls.
“As at 2017, the proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older, who were subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner was estimated at 35 per cent.
“Similarly, the proportion of women aged 15 to 49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive healthcare was put at 24.8 per cent,’’ she said.
The presidential aide said that the Federal Government had been working horizontally and vertically to strategically guide the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.
She said that SDGs office was also working with Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to mainstream the SDGs into their respective sectoral policies and plans.
According to her, at the sub-national level, we are working with the state governments to integrate the SDGs into their respective policies and Medium-term Development Plans.
“Elatedly, we are collaborating with the development partners, organised private sector and the wider civil society through well-established platforms to mobilise expertise and resources in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
“We will continue to prioritise programmes and interventions that adequately mainstream gender at all levels of governance,’’ she added.
Mrs Comfort Lamptey, said inauguration of the report in Nigeria was to see how to use it to accelerate the women development agenda of SDGs.
Lamptey said the theme of the report, “Turning Promises into Action” was a 2030 agenda to ensure that women enjoy equal rights as well as develop potential to eliminate violence against women.
She that the report also highlighted the need to address inequalities against women, adding that majority of caregivers in the country was women of which few were being paid for the services.
According to her, 23 per cent of women in Nigeria are victims of gender based violence and so there is the need to bridge the gender gap.
“There is need to finance the gender equality goal, monitor implementation, ensure that there is the right data and ensure accountability for gender equality implementation.
“This meeting is to give opportunity to state governments to share their experiences on the issue of gender development,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Dr Priscilla Achakpa, the Executive Director, Women Environment Programme, decried the level of women participation in politics in Nigeria.
Achakpa said that many state governments had refused to take action to give women opportunity in government, adding that no woman had occupied any political office in Zamfara State since 1999.
She said that effort was on to ensure that laws that would encourage 35 per cent affirmative action were enacted in the state.