The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, has urged stakeholders, communities and men to support Nigerian girls and women in sports by opening and creating opportunities for them.
Dare said this on Wednesday at the FAME Foundation annual women’s football tournament held in commemoration of International Women’s Day.
IWD marked annually on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
This year’s theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” explores the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. It also spotlights the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.
According to Dare, investing in women and girls is a positive way of uplifting all people, communities, and all countries.
He said “The women have moved up the ladder in different endeavours, more so, when it comes to sports. There’s no longer glass ceiling, especially in sports. We went to the Olympics and the two people that won our medals are both females Ese Brume and Blessing Oborodudu.
“The narrative has since changed and I think they are getting better shares, better opportunities, the doors are opening for them, we just need our women and girls to walk through that door.
“The best we can do as a community, society and as men is to open the door for our girls and women and they need to walk through because they are equipped to do what they need to do.”
The Executive Director of the FAME Foundation, Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello, also called on the incoming administration to ensure gender equity and equality, especially in the sports sector.
“The incoming administration should ensure that there is equity and equality. We have been demanding for equality for so long, especially on welfare in the sports sector in Nigeria
“As of today, female athletes don’t get the support their male counterparts get and this is what the incoming administration and the person who is coming on board as the Youth and Sports minister should look at. They should ensure that there is equity, equality and the welfare of female athletes is topnotch,” she said.
She noted that the foundation believes sports is one of the tools for unity, innovation and development.
“We’ve been doing this for the past five years is to celebrate women, talk to them about issues related to sexual and domestic violence, and empower them in terms of leadership. We have other side activities like HIV screening, pap test, among others,” she added.
While commending the foundation, the sports minister urged other non-governmental organisations to champion the course of women to promote unity and development.