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Government paying lip service to affirmative action, says ActionAid

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ActionAid Country Director, Ene Obi


Don tasks women on proactivity

Twenty-five years after Nigeria signed the Beijing Declaration on 35 per cent inclusion of women in policy-making, ActionAid Nigeria has accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to the affirmative action.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja, ActionAid Country Director, Ene Obi, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, on assumption of office in 2015, pledged 40 per cent women inclusion in governance.

However, she lamented that nothing had been done on the issue till date. She said: “The Beijing Conference stipulates that every government establishment must have 35 per cent women inclusion; but up till this moment, the Federal Government is still paying lip service. The political will is not just there.

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Obi, while speaking at a workshop on strengthening state level institutional capacities to enhance women’s meaningful participation in peace and security, said including women in decision-making was not doing anybody favour, but a way of improving the quality of decisions.

Project Coordinator Women’s Rights Programme, ActionAid Nigeria, Vivian Efem-Bassey, lamented that women were mostly at the receiving end of the persistent kidnap and banditry, as some of them were raped, houses razed and businesses lost, even as they still had children to cater for.

MEANWHILE, the female aspirant among 17 males for the Vice Chancellor seat of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Plateau State, Professor Patricia Lar, has said that women have capacity to reform the society for the better, urging those seeking leadership role not to be deterred by criticisms but work.

The professor of Microbiology maintained that women had been locked up based on prejudices; hence the need for them to use their talents to better the lot of the society.

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Speaking yesterday in Jos during an event tagged ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in COVID-19 World’ organised by the Plateau chapter of Women4Women Community, He4She, to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD), Lar, who was the guest speaker, noted that wrong beliefs and stereotypes had hindered the exploitation of the good leadership qualities of women.

“Women have good leadership qualities that need to be exploited. A woman has capacity to give the society all-embracing leadership, and that is what I discovered having worked in the university for many years. There is need to create more room in leadership for women, if we want the next 60 years to be better than the one we have experienced as a nation.”

On her part, state coordinator of the group, Dr. Jophia Gupar, expressed delight at the strides women make but asked more women to aspire and attain the position of leadership especially as the general elections approach.

The Chairman, Central Planning Committee for the event, Mrs. Helen Dabup, added that the topic of the celebration ‘Choose to Challenge’ was apt, stressing that women should choose to challenge discrimination in the society. She further advised women to look out for leaders and support only male contestants that have compassion for women.

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