The ECOWAS Commission has called for collaborative efforts towards increasing women’s participation in politics and decision making processes.
The commission believes that doing so would help address gender disparity in politics and other aspects of life.
Dr Sintiki Ugbe, Director, Gender, Youths and Sports, Civil Society Employment and Drug Control of the Commission, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“Fairness is when you make everybody’s voice heard; then the outcome will be better, so that at every point in time, it is not just looking at men versus women.
“When you have everybody’s voice, whether it is women, whether it is youths, whether it is the people with disability, the outcome is better for us.
“So, with that on your mind, it is always important to know that will not come just by sitting down and doing nothing.
“There must be what I call concerted efforts and every time; sometime we just want to have actions, let us do this, let us do practical actions.
“We have to do this, let us be strategic; you need to have either a policy or guideline in place that allows everybody to follow and do little at a time.”
She said that the call became important because the low level of women participation in politics often contributed to gender gaps.
According to her, women and girls make up half the population of West Africa, yet gender relations are characterised by inequalities between men and women in politics.
She decried men’s dominance in politics, in private spheres and on the home-front.
The director said that the practice whereby women were burdened to negotiate their entry into the public space was wrong.
Ugbe said that although a few women groups had shown interest in politics, their level of engagement in the electoral process was so poor that it had become a cause for concern in terms of gender equality.
“We have to look at the policy we have on ground and see how we can ensure that those whose voices are not been heard are heard in public places.
“This is my basic definition of what needs to be done and until we do that by strategic practical level, we will not see the desired change,” she also said.
She, therefore, called for proper investment in women through engagement in skills acquisition programme, such as beads making, catering, woodwork and make-up artistry, as means to empower them.
She, however, urged women to work hard and not always be afraid to vie for political positions as it would help promote gender equality in Nigeria. (NAN)
– Aug. 25, 2018 @ 13:32 GMT |