By Grace Orok
Calabar: Stakeholders have begun the development of a policy document as a panacea to tackle gender issues in Nigeria.
The stakeholders drawn from several nongovernmental organizations and government parastatals are currently meeting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital on Friday where the Special Adviser of gender development to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Mrs. Helen Igodo said a only a comprehensive policy will tackle the issues raised in the gender discourse.
“I believe that gender policy would be the only panacea to all gender issues, some of which are; human trafficking, rape, early child marriage and violence against women in our society, Cross River State,” Mrs. Igodo said.
The event was organized by the State Planning Commission to deliberate on gender policy development in the state.
And, Mrs. Igodo commended the administration of former Governor Liyel Imoke that initiated the idea of a policy and lauded Governor Ayade for adopting the draft by creating a department of gender development.
She implored the stakeholders to put in their best in ensuring they produce a viable working document in the state for gender policy.
On the modus operandi, she said that: “To state the obvious, the gender policy would identity, concentrate and support efforts aimed at creating awareness among policy makers, planners, implementors, development organisations, parastatals and agencies according to the provision of the constitution as regards the equal status of women and men in the society.”
She debunked myths that gender issues were about women and lamented that the society in explaining gender, has socially constructed culturally influenced roles that are being assigned to men and women in the society, hence the need for gender mainstreaming.
“Our mission today is simple, which is to stitch together every component of gender that will produce a dependable and sustainable.