FG seeks support for women's active participation in politics, leadership

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THE Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, urged relevant stakeholders to collectively support and create enabling environment for women’s active participation in politics and leadership.
Tallen made the call on Thursday in Lokoja, at a Two-day Awareness and Sensitisation Programme for Stakeholders to Support Women’s Participation in Kogi State Election, North- Central Zone.
Represented by Mrs Victoria Lar, the Assistant Chief Social Welfare Officer (ACSWO) of the ministry, Tallen said that the meeting was to create awareness and sensitise the Kogites on the need to give women a chance in the forthcoming state election.
She stressed that the role of women in politics, governance and in nation building cannot be over-emphasised.
She reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to building a Nigerian Society devoid of gender discrimination, that guarantees equal access to political, social and economic wealth creation opportunities; and placing priority on protecting women’s rights.
She noted that, Nigeria as a member of the United Nations (UN) had signed and ratified many international instruments, treaties and conventions for women’s development.
”These instruments have always emphasized that member nations put in place all the necessary mechanisms needed to eliminate gender discriminations, ensure equality and human dignity to all, men and women.
”Nigeria as a member of regional and international comity of nations signed on to promoting and ensuring the protection and the participation of women in all facets of life.
”It signed on to affirmative action and indeed 30 per cent minimum representation for women by virtue of signing on to those resolutions and agreements.
”Hence, promoting gender equality is not only seen as a human rights issue, but as a necessity for the achievement of socio-political, economic and a sustainable development by the year 2030.
”In Nigeria, from the national to state level, women’s leadership and political participation have been consciously or unconsciously restricted.
”Women face several obstacles to participating in political life.
”Women are the voters but underrepresented in terms of leadership and governance in both the public and private sector; discriminations against women occurs everywhere,” she said.
She, therefore, enjoined stakeholders to jointly change the narrative and support women towards building a more inclusive, where the women’s contribution would be recognized and embraced in the coming election.
”Women indeed, have the capacity to transform our society.
”I urge you all to stop the violence, say no to thuggery and abuse of women folks as they are our mother, sister, aunt, wife and daughter.
”It is only then, shall Nigeria be seen as a gender sensitive Society in the comity of nations and in accordance with best international practices,” she said.
Earlier, Kogi Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Bolanle Amupitan, said that the state ministry had continued to key into all Federal Government’s initiatives to freeing women from the web of poverty and discrimination.
Amupitan, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Sec. Mr Suleiman Abdullahi, stressed that Gov. Yahaya Bello had appointed women into sensitive positions considered by men as ‘no go area’ for women.
She enjoined the stakeholders especially women leaders of political parties and NGOs to be very active and sustained the tempo required for the sensitisation campaigns.

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