ONE, an NGO, on Tuesday in Abuja said about 155 countries of the world still had laws that discriminated against women and slowed down their development.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Country Representative, Mr Edwin Daniel-Ikhuoria, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. The statement was in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day with the theme `
`Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. According to the statement, investing in girls and women brings an even development. `
`Poverty and gender inequality go hand-in-hand. “In 2016, half a billion women cannot still read, 62 million girls are denied an education and 155 countries still have laws that differentiate between men and women. `
`It is widely accepted that investing in girls and women lift everyone out of poverty more quickly,” the statement said. It further said that 2016 offered two major political opportunities to make a difference for girls and women and to kick start progress towards achieving the end of extreme poverty. Part of the opportunities, it said, was the replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and the Nutrition for Growth Summit.
The statement said the interventions were crucial as 40 per cent of women in Africa suffered anaemia which resulted in 20 per cent of maternal deaths. “Girls account for 74 per cent of all new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa. `
`Smart investments in the Global Fund and Nutrition for Growth will make significant headway against these diseases, and targeting girls and women will ensure a maximum return on investment.” The statement said world leaders had consented to ending poverty in Africa by inaugurating the campaign, `
`Poverty is Sexiest” in 2015. The statement called on world leaders to institute policies that would ensure legal equality for all, increase access to safe and reliable energy, which would particularly benefit girls and women. `
`There must also be concerted efforts to connect everyone to the internet and ensure that governments, businesses and civil society open up their own data for public accessibility.’’ According to the statement, the 20 toughest places to be born a girl are also among the poorest places on the planet.
It, however, said that until leaders tackled the injustices that pervaded the lives of girls, women and invest in fighting poverty, half of the world’s resources would remain untapped.
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, especially in Africa. NAN reports that International Women’s Day is being celebrated to reflect on the situation of women and girls, assess progress made, and appropriate steps to advance their course and provide relevant remedies.