Women account for high illiteracy rate in Nigeria  

Women account for high illiteracy rate in Nigeria
 
… As Nigeria ranked highest in maternal mortality in the world
 
By Akon Eddy, Kaduna
 
One third of Nigerian women (38 percent) have no education; while women participation in public office has remain very low. 
 
Between 1999 and 2015 women’s elected into offices in Kaduna State legislature has remained low, far below the global threshold of 30 percent.  From 0 in 1999 and back to 0 in 2015.
 
Ms. Ngukwase Surma, Executive Director,  Connectry Gender for Development (COGEN), said this at a round table discussion towards identification and prioritization of gender and social Inclusion issues to form the basis for a Kaduna state gender Policy organized by the Kaduna Ministry of Women Affairs held in Kaduna yesterday.
  
The Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist in her paper also said the National Demographic Health Survey 2013 reveals that 53 percent of Nigerian women age 15-49 are literate; compared with 75 percent of their male counterparts.  Thus, education still remains fundamental to women’s empowerment because it form the foundation for many other opportunities.
 
Similarly, fewer married women age 15 – 49 were employed compared to their male counterparts, among those employed, women are more likely to earn cash, while men are more likely than women to be paid in cash and in kind.
 
Speaking further Ms. Surma said violence against women is a common practice in the country, even as maternal mortality rate is 545 deaths per 100,000 live births, nearly double the global average.
 
“Spousal violence is high, one in four ever-married women reporting that they have ever experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence by their husband/partner. A higher proportion of women (35 percent) believe that wife beating is justified for any of the specified reasons compared to 25 percent of men.
 
“Institutional violence-endemic in some public institutions, including the police and certain educational bodies, where an ‘entrenched culture of impunity’ protects perpetrators of rape and other violence.
 
“On average, Nigerian men have many more sexual partners over their lifetime than women – 4.1compared to 1.5.
 
“More than 10 percent of men report having two or more sexual partners in the past 12 months compared to just 1 percent of women; while the men are less likely than women to get tested for HIV,” Ms. Surma said.
 
According to Ms. Surma a gender and social inclusion strategy is a global development strategy and a means to sustainable development; adding that it helps promote gender equality and takes women and men out of poverty, and also improves their living standard.
 
The gender and social inclusion specialist further added a state gender policy should be put in place mechanism to address identified gaps; and also be a tool to promote gender and social inclusion mainstreaming as a strategy for equitable and sustainable development.

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