Governor Nasir el-Rufai has shown commitment to inclusive governance by giving more women and youth opportunity in his government, while 7,000 women have benefited from the state women empowerment fund, Deputy Governor Hadiza Balarabe has said.
Delivering a keynote address at the International Women Day (IWD) organised by Center for Communication and Social Impact on Thursday, Dr. Hadiza said there was almost equal proportions in the state cabinet, adding that youth and women in key positions of leadership in the state have shown competence and diligence in their service.
She said the state government is ready to partner with all and sundry to ensure the advancement of women and youths.
“The Women and Young people in Political and Governance Processes (We-You-pro) campaign tagged “Hope, Actions and Progress for women and youth in politics” by the Centre for Communication and Social Impacts aims to strengthen the capacities of young people and women on strategies, policy and influence towards taking leadership positions, to drive positive change; a deliberate effort for improved participation of women and youth in leadership and governance processes.
“Kaduna state under the leadership of the HeforShe champion, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has not only demonstrated his commitment towards inclusion and ensuring that women are a major part of decision-making processes and they deserve a seat at the table. It has also prioritized building an inclusive society and creating gender balance in its interventions and aspirations for the development of the state.
“Over 7,000 women in Kaduna state have benefitted from the financial resources of the N200 million Kaduna State Women Empowerment Fund to boost their business since 2020. As women, we have resilience, we have confidence, we have perseverance, we should harness our qualities into building the society,” she said.
The Executive Director Centre for Communication and Social Impact, Babafunke Fagbemi, said, women participation in Nigerian politics is not proportionate to the over 45% of the nation’s population which they represent, and this has not translated into equal representation in political leadership positions.
“Over the years, women and youth have been excluded from leadership and decision making processes. Therefore, there is need for women and youth inclusion and participation in politics. To mark the 2022 International Women’s Day with the theme “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”, the campaign for inclusion of women and young people in political and governance processes (WE-YOU PRO) call for greater participation of women in politics and governance.
“We urge all Nigerians to help break bias against women and young people’s participation in governing this great country. In a united and indivisible voice, we call on the Nigeria government to live up to her 35% affirmative action on women inclusion across all arms of governance, as upholding this will increase the country’s credibility in the international community,” she said.
“For our emerging democracy in Nigeria to be sustainable, all groups within the population must be actively involved in the governance process. Their voices must be heard, and their experiences and expertise utilized for the optimal growth and development of the country.”