From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, has reiterated the determination of the 9th House to address issues militating against development of women in the country.

Gbajabiamila stated this, yesterday, in Abuja, while declaring open the commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD), organised by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians at the National Assembly.

The speaker said apart from collaborating with critical local and international stakeholders, the House will leverage on the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to holistically address issue of violence against women and other issues impeding the development of women.

Gbajabiamila said the theme of this year’s IWD #ChooseToChallenge, is a call to duty and demands concerted efforts to dismantle obstacles to women advancement.

“I assure you this 9th House of Representatives will continue to take actions to address the challenges militating against the advancement of women in all spheres of human endeavour.

“I ask all of you here today to support the House in this regard so that together, we can make the world a better place for all our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and colleagues.

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“This is part of our legislative agenda, and we must, at the end of it, be able to tick that box that we have this contract with Nigerians and we did.

“This is a matter of constitutional amendments in many regards, and we will be up and doing. I trust the 9th House to be up to the ultimate task in removing whatever obstacles in the past to make sure this thing is a thing of the past,” he said.

Earlier, Chairperson, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Zainab Gimba, said the International Women’s Day is dedicated to celebrating the socio-economic, cultural and political achievements of women and a platform for action to accelerate gender parity.

However, Gimba identified gender inequality as one of the greatest threats to Africa’s future.

She said there is need for conscious efforts to ensure women are part of the decision making process.

“Women make up half of the Africa population, denying them opportunities is denying the continent a valuable contributions to its development.

“We must take conscious steps to ensure women’s involvement in every sphere of the decision-making process to usher in an inclusive development,” the lawmaker said.