The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has conferred an Excellence Award on the Governor of Central Bank (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for championing the issues of women, children and persons living with disability in the country.

The ‘HeforShe Excellence Award’ on the CBN governor and other eminent Nigerians was given as part of activities marking the 21st National Council Meeting on Women Affairs that ended weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.

The award by the minister is to sustain the male engagement process as key to achieving gender equality.

The Minister of Women Affairs had during a ministerial dinner with development partners and stakeholders in women sector held at Watbridge hotels, Uyo identified women empowernment as a solution to myriads of problems bedeviling Nigeria.

She said security problems could be addressed by women empowerment, as the positive effect of that would trickle down to homes.

According to her, “Most of the problems we are facing in Nigeria today such as insecurity could be addressed by women empowerment, addressing them from the family. Most of these problems are because of the breakdown of family values.

“When women are empowered, the nation will be better; the children will be happy and we will not have the security problems we are battling with now.

“If you educate a woman you are educating the family, an educated woman will ensure that her children are fully educated and her family is well cared for, everything that concerns the family will go well. We have been working hand in hand with the ministry of education to ensure that our children are educated.

“The problem is the neglect of the past and if we don’t stop and address it squarely now it’s going to be too sad for us in the future and posterity will not forgive us.

“So many children are into drugs, so many are on the streets and these are the future generation. We are all guilty and it’s not too late for us to correct it, the gunpowder we are sitting on, will blow out on us if we don’t do something about it, God forbid!”

The Minister who called for more support and collaboration, said the number of women who need help were much even though the ministry had tried to build a better future for some vulnerable women in the country.

“We need to do something differently to make it work, to help empower more women, put food on the table support children get education and build a better future for our country, we need to rise up to the occasion.

She also encouraged women to speak up and report issues of gender based violence and other rights violations to the appropriate quarters saying that sometimes because of ignorance and lack of getting to know right place to go, the victims would perish in their problems.

Earlier the Director General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, in a goodwill message said women economic empowerment would to a great extent reduce the rate at which HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases were being contracted.

“If a woman is empowered and can take care of herself she can’t go out to get HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases,” he said.

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