An international civil society organisation (CSO), Change Managers International Network/ 100 Women Lobby Group, has demanded more inclusion of women in governance, decision making and capacity building; in order for them to contribute their quota to national development.
They made the demand Tuesday in Abuja during a dinner meeting with female ministers on social development accountability tagged “Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria project”.
Those in attendance include: Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, Convener and CEO Change Managers International Network/ 100 Women Lobby Group, Mrs Felicia Onibon, Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikpeazu, among other notable women from different backgrounds.
Addressing participants at the event, Convener and CEO Change Managers International Network/ 100 Women Lobby Group, Mrs Felicia Onibon, said that policy engagement, advocacy and capacity building will ensure that women and girls are given voices and space “with a view to unbundling patriarchal attitudes towards women and girls in Nigeria”.
She said: “Change Managers International Network (CMI) is a CAC registered organisation recognised by the UNESCO and also one of the organisations that won the Women’s Voice and Leadership bid commencing a five-year project in the FCT; funded by ActionAid Nigeria. The project will focus on policy engagement, advocacy and capacity building; ensuring that women and girls are given voices and space with a view to unbundling patriarchal attitudes towards women and girls in Nigeria.
“100 Women Lobby Group is a platform that provides an avenue to improve the participation of women in politics, geared towards achieving the 35 per cent Affirmative Action at all levels and beyond. CMI came on board in 1998 and have been carrying out social and development work in our chosen thematic areas. We work with the poor and marginalised, especially rural communities, with emphasis on women and children. We are saddened by the poor participation of women in the 2019 general elections and abysmal appointment of women in key political positions and demand an improvement.”
Also speaking, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, said that the organisation focuses more on championing women’s rights, protecting the girl-child, the disabled and vulnerable in society, even as she called for women to support one another to achieve a common objective.
“At ActionAid, we focus on women’s rights, protecting the girl-child, the disabled and vulnerable in society. I had the opportunity of meeting Margaret Ekpo of blessed memory and she shared her experience with me on how she fought for women emancipation with Mrs Ransome Kuti. ActionAid was started in 1972 by just one person, but it is now in 43 countries. We can still do more.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill his campaign promise of more inclusion of women in governance. If there are 40 members in a committee, 20 should be women. He made that promise, so he is not doing us a favour. When you empower women, we will do more for national development. However, we need to stick together and support one another as women, especially those vying for political offices. We are also charging women to build up the capacity of younger women for us to move forward.”