HURIWA expresses concern over new Women Affairs Secretariat in FCT
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed concern over the establishment of Women Affairs Secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
HURIWA during a media briefing in Abuja, Sunday, said though its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, that move was not just a coincidence but raised suspicion about the intention of FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.
HURIWA wondered whether it was a ploy by the Minister to win favours from the wife of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The group added that the timing of the decision, coming just two days after the Minister’s visit to the President’s wife, was too conspicuous to be dismissed as a mere chance.
“It is essential that any new institution created should genuinely address the rights and needs of women and children rather than being seen as a political gesture.
“While it is essential to address issues faced by women, creating yet another anachronistic institution such as the Women Affairs Secretariat, seems inadequate and potentially politically motivated.
“The existing Ministry of Women Affairs at both federal and state levels has often fallen short in protecting women’s rights, and issues like smuggling and trafficking of girls for the sex trade have continued to thrive.
“We believe that a more comprehensive approach is needed. Instead of singling out women, we should consider the establishment of a Ministry for Family Affairs or a Department for Family Affairs in Abuja. This approach would recognize the interconnected nature of family issues and promote inclusivity for all genders.”
Adding: “Moreover, the persistence of a Ministry for Women Affairs in an era where women outnumber men in academic doctorate degrees is perplexing and appears out of touch with the realities of gender equality.
“It is crucial that any new initiative genuinely addresses the rights and needs of women and does not serve as a political gesture. We call for transparency and accountability in the creation of such institutions to ensure they fulfil their intended purpose.
“The establishment of a Women Affairs Secretariat for the FCT raises questions about its effectiveness, given the historical challenges faced by the Ministry of Women Affairs at both federal and state levels.
“It is clear that addressing the issues faced by women requires a more comprehensive approach. Instead of creating another anachronistic institution, we should consider the establishment of a Ministry for Family Affairs or a Department for Family Affairs in Abuja.