…… senior citizens should not be left behind in order for them to enjoy their old age – Tallen.
While receiving the delegation of the United Nations Independent Experts On The Enjoyment Of All Human Rights By Older Persons to Nigeria in an official visit to her office 8th September, 2022, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen OFR, KSG said that senior citizens should not be left behind in order for them to enjoy their old age.
The Minister who warmly welcome the UN Team in company of the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shinkafi re-emphasized that the mission of the Team is already part of the Ministry’s Mission, Vision and Mandates of the Ministry.
She promised to work with the Team on their laudable mandates; saying that our children have a lot to learn from the wisdom of the elders. She maintained that elderly people need our attention, care and love.
Tallen disclosed that the problem faced in the society today is traced to the neglect of the elderly. She commends the UN for having a mandate on the cause of older persons and for developing such mandates “where no one is left behind within gender equality.” Without mincing word, the Minister said that issues of gender-based violence, climate change and crime against humanity must be addressed.
While recognizing the yeoman’s job being undertaken by Nigeria’s illustrious daughter, Amina Muhammed as UN Deputy Secretary-General on women and gender equality, the Minister assured the delegation of working with the UN System, particularly UN Women, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNDP etc. to address issues affecting older women.
Speaking earlier, Ms Claudia Mahler in company of her team, thanked the Minister for warmly receiving her team requesting Nigeria to “put some importance on older women because they are vulnerable people in the society.”
Ms. MAHLER’s Team has already pulled in, the Director-General, Senior Citizens Commission of Nigeria, Dr. M.M. Omokaro to join the Women Affairs Team that will give her insight into how older women are being treated in Nigeria and suggestions on what the UN can do to assist in remediating gaps.
She stated that inequality is a huge issue in Nigeria especially for older women as this gets aggravated as they get older. Barring all the issues about neglect and inequality, Tallen saw a lot of resilience and strength in Nigeria’s older women. She further stated that there is a need for us to take care of our elderly women.
The visiting UN Expert on The Enjoyment Of All Human Rights By Older Persons to Nigeria asserts that there is a gap in data, policy and practice on matters concerning the elderly as “they are not included in decision making process”. She observed that as demographics are changing in favour of older women, all of us should get prepared to care of the elderly; stressing that climate change has a lot of impact on the lives of women especially those living in rural areas.
Ms Claudia disclosed that the mission of team is to collaborate with the Ministry to create awareness on this issue and also, to “assess the situation” so as to get a fruitful exchanges and insights from the Ministry.
Report by Taiwo Hassan (Chief Information Officer) with input from Olaoye Boluwatife (NYSC member) & Agbo Maria (Undergrad Intern)