Working with male allies: He for SHE in Cross River, Nigeria

Date: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Edo State Governor Hon. Ben Ayade signs the He for She plaque. Photo: UN Women/ Olanrewaju Faremi

Edo State Governor Hon. Ben Ayade signs the He for She plaque. Photo: UN Women/ Olanrewaju Faremi

The UN Women under the Spotlight Initiative launched the HeForShe Initiative in Cross River State, Nigeria, with the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, assuring inclusion of more women in politics in the upcoming 2023 general elections.

Governor Ayade made the pledge after he was decorated as a “Male Gender Champion” under the He for She campaign to ensure that more women got appointive and elective positions in the Cross River political scene. He expressed appreciation to UN Women and EU for the Spotlight Initiative for the honour accorded him as an ambassador and advocate for gender equality; encouraged women to seek elective seats as the 2023 election period approaches.

In his comments, the Governor acknowledged the fact that men are also brought on board to support causes for women. ‘The fact remains women bear a larger brunt, which is why we are gathered here today to stand up and advocate for equality’ he remarked. It is important men are onboard as co-advocates for gender equality.

UN Women Deputy Country Representative Mr Lansana Wonneh in his remarks said, The launch of the HeForShe Initiative in Cross River is essential and emphasizes importance of outreach to strategic groups, men, young people, the media, private sector and other stakeholders on the inclusion of men as allies to lead the achievements of gender equality, the breaking of stereotypes and patriarchal norms in Nigeria”.

In her welcoming speech, the Commissioner for the Ministry of International Development Corporation, Dr. Inyang Asibong commended Spotlight Initiative and UN Women for launching the campaign in Cross River state.

The peak of the event was the presentation of the He for She pin to ‘Male Gender Champion against gender Based Violence’ Governor Ayade and, the traditional ruler of Obanliku local government area of Cross River State, Amos Uyumulam Item for his efforts towards ending the age-long cultural practice called “money marriage” in Becheve village.