The Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Sherifat Jaji has said that the State Government “is gender-sensitive” and has been breaking major barriers to ensure that women not only fulfil their aspirations but reach the pinnacle of their careers, especially in the public service.
The SSG disclosed this on Wednesday in her goodwill message at the first International Hybrid Conference of Women in Technical Education and Development (WITED), held at Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos.
Jaji, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Mrs. Kemi Durosinmi-Etti, expressed excitement at the theme of the Conference “Gender and Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: Challenges and Progress”, as it focuses on SDG 5 of the 17 life-changing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
She said, “In order to ensure equal opportunities in leadership at different levels and in consonance with the Y2019 International Women’s Day theme ‘Balance For Better’, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu constituted his Executive Council with the appointment of 12 women as Commissioners and Special Advisers. In addition, 22 women are presently serving as Permanent Secretaries apart from several others heading different Agencies and Departments of Government”.
While commending WITED for organising the maiden conference, she urged participants and discussants to spend the three-day programme exchanging views and strategies on a resolution that will further address many obstacles that women face in Africa and other nations.
Contributing to the programme, the Secretary-General, Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA), Mrs. Jahou Faal, said women are still not equitably represented at the top ranks, pointing out that there are more male students in technical colleges and universities than female students.
She, therefore, called for commensurate opportunities, growth and promotion of women in the workplace in addition to continuous mentoring, sensitisation and advocacy for the girl-child in technology education.
In her welcome address, Coordinator, WITED, Yaba College of Technology, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluseun Popoola, said the challenges of gender and sustainable development could be overcome when every male sees the empowerment of females as a process of empowering the nation.
Recall that WITED, an Association that seeks to improve the participation of the girl-child in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes in Nigeria, was inaugurated by the Federal Government in 1997 and was first established at Yaba College of Technology.