Niger State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Fati Tasalla Ibrahim has revealed that men are the major obstacle to women participation in politics and not cultural or religious factors.
The commissioner who featured in the weekly Radio Niger Audience Participatory Programme, “Contact”, made this disclosure while responding to a caller during the programme on Saturday.
She observed that not all men want to see women surfacing in public but that with the support of few, they were doing well and forging ahead, adding that if men give their consent; the cultural and religious hindrance will disappear.
The commissioner added that the presence of women in the administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello was visible as they have four women commissioners, a handful of women board and commission chairpersons, as well as several SSAs and SAs.
She noted that they were not yet where they really want to be as regards the 35 Percent affirmative but that they appreciated where they were at the moment as they were doing their best to see that women are heard in the society.
Hon. Tasalla Ibrahim expressed optimism that in the near future, the agitation to have a woman governor or deputy governor in the state will come to fruition.
On rampant cases of rape and gender base violence, the commissioner said the ministry was doing its best to curb the menace and prosecute offenders, but because the society was large their efforts were not noticed, urging members of the public to report such issues to the ministry and its agencies and partners.
She also disclosed that Niger state was the only state in the country that has a desk officer in charge of gender base violence and rape related issues in the state Ministry of Justice, saying that the unit is under the care of Barrister Mairo Man.
On Almajiri children roaming the streets of Minna, Tasallah said it was worrisome and that their focus on the state capital was because it is an eyesore seeing the Almajiris roaming the streets in the state capital when you have visitors, adding that they were doing their best but as they keep repatriating them, new ones appear in the town but that they would not relent in their efforts.
The ministry according to her, was in partnership with some non-governmental organizations, particularly the Raise Foundation as part of the ministry’s efforts to improve the livelihood of the Niger state woman, adding that they have enjoyed robust and full support from Her Excellency, Dr. Amina Abubakar Sani Bello and staff members of her office.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, TPL Khalthum Dauda Rufa’i said there was a committee in place that deals with gender base issues and it is headed by the wife of the Governor, Dr. Amina Sani Bello.
She added that there are other mechanisms put in place for effective prosecution of gender based offenders and to also treat and rehabilitate victims of gender base violence and rape, among which is the sexual assault and referral centre, which is more like a one stop centre.
By Abubakar Hassan
from Newsline Minna