Some lawmakers in Abuja on Wednesday said the inclusion of gender issues by President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2013 budget proposal was a right step in the right direction.
Jonathan had while presenting the 2013 budget estimates of N4.9 trillion to the National Assembly, said that his administration would improve the position of women in the society by empowering them economically.
He said that the administration had developed an innovative approach to mainstreaming gender issues with five pilot ministries.
The ministries are Agriculture, Health, Communication Technology , Water Resources and Works.
In separate interviews the lawmakers said that the priority given to women in the 2013 budget was a welcome development.
Rep. Nkiruka Onyejeocha (PDP–Abia) said the inclusion of women issues in the budget ‘’was quite impressive’’.
She said, “We are very happy about it (Gender Budget), we have been talking about gender mainstreaming, gender budget, and we have not seen it before.
“This is the first time it is being done and so every woman in the House, all of us are happy about it.
“You saw how we gave him a standing ovation, if you include the gender in your budget it says a lot, I am impressed.’’
Onyejeocha, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, however, urged the executive to ensure that the budget was implemented.
Rep. Uche Ekwunfe (APGA–Anambra), Chairman House Committee on Environment, also commended Jonathan for giving priority to women in the 2013 budget proposal.
“Obviously you can see that the way the economy is, women suffer most, we are the pillars of the society.
“So the priority given to women is a step in the right direction that would obviously trickle down to the grass-roots level.
“I thank him for finding time to include a space for women in the 2013 Appropriation Act .
Rep. Abike Dabiri (ACN-Lagos) Chairman House Committee on Diaspora, also commended the executive for the inclusion of women issues in the budget.
She, however, said that the gesture should be backed with implementation.
“The budget is all about implementation; yes we are all excited about the women but it is all about implementation.’’
Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP–Delta) Chairman House Committee on Health, agreed with Dabiri that the recognition of women was a welcome development.
‘’The recognition of gender issues in the budget is a welcome development, because if you notice, our women in the past have been suffering from the lack of recognition.
“So this government is taking cognizance of women’s roles in nation building is a welcome development.’’
Rep. Jerry Manwe (PDP–Taraba) on his part said there was nothing wrong in the president giving attention to women in the budget.
Manwe, who is the Chairman House Committee on Electoral Matters, said he stood for the President when women applauded him for his initiative.
He said, “The president has given more attention to women; there is nothing wrong in that they are our mothers, sisters and wives.
“So if the president gives priority to women there is nothing wrong in that, in fact I stood up when women were applauding the president.’’ (NAN)