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April 18, 2024

Education crucial to dev’t of girls, women– Chinese envoy’s wife

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By Temitope Ponle

Wife of the Chinese embassador to Nigeria Mrs Liang Huili, says education plays a crucial role in the development of women and girls.

Liang said this in Abuja at a news conference on Development of Women Cause in China (citing the Chinese experience), held ahead of the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrated annually on March 8.

“Education plays a very important role. The girls are the future.

“We need to be more concerned about them. We need to give them a fair opportunity of education, and that is my suggestion,” she said.

Liang observed that if women and girls were educated, they could develop themselves, make their own decisions, and live independent lives.

She said the government of China gave both women and men equal rights to education through the formulation and implementation of the appropriate laws and regulations.

“The gender gap in the nine-year compulsory education period has been basically eliminated.

“In 2017, the net primary school enrollment rates for boys and girls were both 99.9 per cent.

“Gender equality in compulsory education has been basically achieved,” she noted.

She added that the number of women receiving vocational and continuing education witnessed a marked increase.

According to her, it is a thing of joy that the day is being celebrated globally, including in Nigeria and China.

She also said the achievements recorded through Nigeria-China bilateral cooperation in recent years could not have been possible without the full participation of women on both sides.

“In the past months, I have met with several female staff and workers from both China and Nigeria, during commissioning ceremonies of some large-scale cooperative projects,” she said.

Liang, therefore, expressed pleasure in seeing that the Chinese mission in Nigeria had, in recent years, made conscious efforts to improve the well-being of women, girls, and other vulnerable groups in the West African country.

She said such efforts included providing support to civil organisations or foundations, adding: “This is a good thing, which will continue.”

Speaking further, she said the Beijing Conference of 1995 on women, organised by the United Nations, has frequently been cited and mentioned on different occasions because ”it is regarded as a significant turning point for the global agenda of gender equality.”

She also said the harmony-symphony initiative was forming a new framework for bilateral exchanges of women from both countries.

“I have a strong feeling that harmony is indeed a common value pursued and cherished by both societies in Nigeria and China, which performs a natural bond for the furtherance of our bilateral cooperation.

“Last year, with joint work, my husband, the Chinese Ambassador, put forward the Initiative of Sharing Chinese Harmony and Performing Nigeria-China Symphony.

“It is my view that this initiative, which is rooted from social characteristics of the both societies in Nigeria and China, will give a strong boost to the cultural and people-to-people communications.

“The initiative will also strengthen the exchanges of women from the two countries,” she added.

Liang also said with the just concluded elections, Nigeria and China were about to “turn into a new page of national development”.

“With a deeper participation of women from both countries, our bilateral cooperation would definitely make more achievements and bring more benefits to the two peoples.”

The 2023 theme for the international women’s Day is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”, which highlights the role of innovative technology in promoting gender equality and meeting the health and developmental needs of women and girls. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

Ismail Abdulaziz

Deputy Editor in Chief, Website & State House Bureau, Abuja.
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