Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Thursday urged women to hold political party candidates accountable to the promises they made on gender equity ahead of the 2023 general election.
AbdulRazaq made the call during the 22nd Regular National Council on Women Affairs (NCWA), organised by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja.
The theme of the 2022 NCWA is “Gender Inclusivity and Women Economic Empowerment: Making the Change Work for Women and Children”.
He also encouraged women to ensure that the promises made during party manifestos aimed at addressing challenges affecting women were kept.
The governor added that Kwara has kept its promises on 35 per cent affirmative action, as the state is currently being run by women who are heading key governance positions.
According to him, women are 60 per cent in parliament with three out of the four federal level appointment positions for the state being occupied by women.
He revealed that the decision to include women in key positions made positive changes in health and poverty reduction, among others.
“Giving women a seat on the table is very important.
It is not right not to include women when key decisions are made because they have a lot to offer.
“Kwara State has 60 per cent women in parliament and they occupy the key positions.
We handed over the state to women and we have seen changes in healthcare, poverty, etc,” he said.
“The top four federal appointments for Kwara state, three of the four positions are women such as the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission.
“So, we are pushing our best women to the FCT to also learn more and bring more development to the state.
“On empowerment, we rolled our social investments programme two years ago and we have given N10,000 or N20,000 to over 20,000 women to support their businesses so they can be more self reliant,” he added.
He, therefore, urged others to encourage women inclusion in all governance and leadership structures for the desired growth and development to be achieved.
Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs, said the ministry prioritise issues affecting women and children with a view to protecting their rights and empowering them.
“We prioritised gender-based violence, social, cultural inequalities and other harmful practices that disproportionately affect the health of women and children.
“We focused on inclusive interventions towards enhancing the socio-economic development of Nigeria for impactful outcomes in line with the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said.
According to her, through the Nigeria for Women Project, supported by World Bank, N3 billion was disbursed to 67,358 women.
She said they partnered with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist small-scale farmers through a project targeted at 8,000 vulnerable Women.
Tallen said over 25,000 women entrepreneurs have so far received online trainings under collaboration with ECOWAS and Access Bank 50 Million Women Speak Platform Project (50MWSPP) designed to reposition women entrepreneurs in Nigeria through digital marketing.
The minister further disclosed that 34 states have domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act (2015) and 32 states, the Child Rights Acts (2003).
On her part, Hajiya Lami Lau, the President, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), emphasised the role of women in achieving sustainable economic development.
She said: “When women gather change happens, therefore, I have no doubt that at the end of this meeting we shall begin to experience fundamental changes that will transform the lives of women, girls and children in Nigeria.
” Lau, therefore, advocated that the national gender policy should take full effect as a blueprint for action and women empowerment to reduce poverty and vulnerability.
“Finally, and most importantly we demand an end to insecurity, violence against women and girls and the protection of women in conflict situations,” she said.
Stakeholders have unanimously adopted the renaming of National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja to Maryam Babangida National Centre for Women Development.
The stakeholders comprising women groups, said this at a public hearing on a bill on the renaming of the centre to Maryam Babangida Centre, organised by the Senate Committee on Women Affairs on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the centre was established in 1992 and named after Late Maryam Babangida, given her steering initiatives on women – development.
It was however, renamed the National Centre for Women Development ( NCWD) in 1994, by the military regime of late Gen.Sani Abacha.
Some of the stakeholders included Mrs Paulen Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Lami Lau, the President of National Council for Women Societies ( NCWS) and Mrs Ladi Bala, the President, National Association of Women Journalists ( NAWOJ).
Speaking, Sen. Batty Apiafi, the sponsor of the bill, said that the naming of the centre after Maryam Babangida would serve as an honour in recongnition of her tremendous contributions toward uplifting Nigerian women.
” The National Centre for Women Development Act ( Amendment ) Bill 2022 , seeks among others , to rename the Centre after Late Maryam Babangida.
“It seeks to change the designation of Head of the Centre from Executive Secretary to Director -General and upgrading it to global standard.
” Renaming NCWD as the Maryam Babangida National Centre for Women Development , will serve as fitting monument to Nigerian women and practical manifestation of goals of its founder for women empowerment through education , self – achievement and mobilisation,” she said.
She said the bill was also aimed at enhancing the functions of the centre,by granting it discretionary powers to award contracts where it was previously restricted.
She said the need for the legislature to be at the forefront of the fight for women empowerment and development can never be overemphasised.
“It was an unfortunate event during the constitutional amendment passage that all five amendments bills that would have had positive impact on women in Nigeria were not passed by the Senate,” she said.
She said the committee would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to fight for the progress of Nigerian women like Maryam Babangida did during her lifetime.
Apiafi said that given the support of the bill as indicated in the various presentations, report for its consideration for third reading would be presented to the senate at plenary.
Speaking, Tellen said the ministry was in full support of renaming the centre after the founder and making it the hub for all developmental issues.
Daughter of late Maryam Babangida, Ms Aisha, said that the original goals of the centre included enhancing women’s role in education, culture, law, politics, agriculture, cooperatives and rural development .
She said that the centre should be used to recognise and champion those women who were making a difference and setting examples to other.
“I will like to see a fund that can issue grants to women who are excelling in these areas to enable them to go further and to lead the way for others,” she said.
Aisha said d that the original goals of the centre included enhancing women’s role in education, culture, law, politics, agriculture, cooperatives and rural development.
The National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) on Wednesday urged women to ensure regular breast self examination for early detection of cancer.
The National President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, said this while addressing women at the 2022 Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Abuja.
Lau advised women to check their family history of breast cancer to avoid being a victim.
According to her, watch, observe and if you notice anything unusual please ask your doctor.
” Early detection can save lives.
Be physically active, exercise your body and breastfeed your babies.
”Maintain good breast care hygiene, wear clean bra, not too tight and do not sleep with your bra on, ” she advised.
Lau also urged women to limit postmenopausal hormone therapy and avoid using hormonal pills to manage menopausal symptoms, adding that natural management should be allowed.
The national president said that women should ensure routine mammogram and talk to doctors regularly.
She said that the council was joining the world to raise awareness on breast cancer and the need for prevention and ealy detection.
”As a council, we celebrate the great warriors who won the battle against this deadly scourge and pray for the peaceful repose of those who lost their lives.
”Let us therefore join hands together with relevant stakeholders to fight breast cancer with courage, hope, faith and love,” she said.
The National Council for Women’s Societies (NCWS) has commended the rural women’s resilience and invaluable contribution to economy and food sufficiency.
The National President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, said this in a statement in commemoration of the International Day of the Rural Women on Saturday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the day is celebrated annually on Oct.15 to honour millions of women living in remote, rural places.
NAN also reports that the day celebrates rural women’s modest achievements and contributions towards rural development and agriculture.
The theme for the 2022 edition is “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All”.
Lau said that the theme was very apt and highlighted the pivotal role that rural women and girls played in the sustainability of global food chain.
”This role becomes very relevant as the world battles climate change and potential food crisis.
”Accirding to the UN Women, rural women are agents of development.
They play a crucial role towards achievement of transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.
”Suffice it to say that the efforts of rural women put food on the tables of families, communities and the nation,” she said Lau said in spite of the contributions of the rural women, they still constituted the bulk of poorly paid and unpaid labourers engaged in subsistence agricultural production, processing, preparing and distribution.
She said that women in rural communities had limited access to capital, credit, land, resources, health care and education.
The national president said that the rural women made more vulnerable by the increasing insecurity and incidences of gender-based violence.
”Empowering women with skills and start-up capital has become very essential, not only for the well-being as individuals, families and rural communities, but to build their agency to contribute meaningfully to national economic development.
”This is because of their huge presence in the agricultural workforce worldwide.
”To our hardworking and beautiful sisters, we celebrate your resilience and invaluable contribution to the economy and food sufficiency,” she said.
The National council for women’s societies (NCWS) Nigeria, has reiterated commitment to end all forms of abuse on the girl-child.
The National President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, said this on Wednesday in a statement in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl-Child.
According to her, the council acknowledges the rights of the Nigerian girl-child.
”We salute your resourcefulness, creativity, tenacity, and resilience.
” Our adolescent girls have shown repeatedly that given adequate opportunities and an enabling environment, they can transform our world by driving progress in communities, and contributing to an enviable future.
” We affirm today that it is Indeed the time of the girl-child, time to acknowledge their rights and recreate their future,” she said Lau said that as the council joined the world to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG) with the theme: It is our time, our rights and our future.
She said that the girl-child deserved full enjoyment of her rights and a future where there was basic assurance that they could grow and live free from abuse and other forms of violence.
Lau said that the Nigerian girl-child has made tremendous progress, breaking barriers and records of achievements.
”Her resilience has been heart-warming and felt in the determination to acquire education and skills.
”We consider the theme of this year’s celebration which captures the unrelenting spirit of the Nigerian girl-child as apt.
”Irrespective of the growing attention on gender equality and rights, the voice of the girl-child is largely ignored.
” They are faced with such challenges as child marriage, child labour, sexual gender-based violence and other forms of child rights abuses with negative implication to their education,” she said.
Lau said that the council remained committed to mentoring and building the agency of the Nigerian girl-child to demand for change.
”We shall amplify their voices and build programmes on the global concerns for the girl-child to contribute to building safe communities.
”Our daughters must now hold mothers accountable to speak up, take action, to protect and to support,” she said.
The national president said that the council would continue to educate and create opportunities for engagement on the welfare of the girl-child.
Hajiya Lami Lau, the National President, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), has felicitated with Nigerians and Muslims on the occasion of Eid- el- Maulud.
Lau in her message said every true Muslim, especially the women, should be grateful to God for the privilege to celebrate the Eid-el- Maulud, the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW), regardless of all challenges She said that the best way to demonstrate our gratitude to God was to share His blessings with neighbours and show love and kindness to all.
“I want to use the occasion to urge all Muslim faithful to be steadfast in working and praying for the peace, unity and progress of our beloved country.
“The current challenges are painful but this is a passing phase in our historical process of nation-building.
“Please do not be carried away by the pageantry of the Eid-el Maulud, the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW) celebration, but as mothers, we should use the occasion to reflect and extend our gestures and hands of support to the needy in the society.
’’ she said.
Lau emphasised the importance of peace, unity and tolerance amongst the diverse people of the country for growth and development to take place, noting that Nigeria diversity should be a source of strength rather than conflict.
“As we join the rest of the World to celebrate this year’s SAW, I enjoin you to replicate and demonstrate in your daily lives, the lessons and virtues of sacrifice, forgiveness, piety, self-denial and genuine love toward one another which you learnt during the month- long fasting.
” “I urge you to also take out opportunity, cashing on the spirituality of this festive period to offer special prayers for the nation against the backdrop of the current security challenges.
“As mothers, we should pray for all the children, mothers, fathers and brothers that are in the Internally Displaced Persons camps as well as those that have been kidnapped.
“We should also praye for the economic situation and to lift up our people before God, especially the downtrodden,’’ she said.
Lau also called on Nigerians to pray for those struggling to make ends meet as well as the leadership of the country.
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) have congratulated her former National President, Mrs Laraba Shoda, on her nomination for national award as Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).
The council also congratulated one of her board members, Mr Tijjani Tumsah on his conferment as Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).
The National President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, said this in her congratulatory message to Shoda, the council ‘s immediate past president, and one of the council board members, Tumsah.
According to her, the 2022 National Honours Awards that will be conferred on the duo is a well deserved one.
”Shoda, during her tenure as National President of NCWS did a lot to affect the lives of women, children and the oppressed.
”As an educationist, she also used her wealth of experience to better the lives of many women, widows and orphans,” she said.
Lau also discribed Tumsah as a man with wealth of experience that one could always learn from.
”Tumsah is an epitome of achievement and goal-driven career plan.
This quality is what that has brought him this far.
”Tumsah sits at the helm of affairs of Rain Integrated Services.
At the same time, he serves as a board member of several other companies in a variation of capacities,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Shoda and Tumsah are among the list of 437 Nominees for the National Honours Awards 2022. The awards will be presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Oct. 11, 2022, at the State House Abuja.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged political parties and their supporters to refrain from adopting violence as a strategy for winning elections.
The Director-General, NOA, Dr Garba Abari, gave the advice in Abuja on Thursday, at a one-day Political Parties Summit on Violence-Free Election.
According to him, politicians should be mindful of the fact that if violence increases, their chances of electoral success will be greatly diminished.
“Survey-based evidence shows that one in five Nigerians are exposed to vote peddling, and almost four in 10 are exposed to electoral violence.
“It is against this backdrop, the NOA is hosting this one-day Political Parties Summit on Violence-Free General Elections, come 2023. “Political parties and their leaders have a huge role to play in voter mobilisation for violence free elections and avoidance of vote buying and selling.
“They also have a role to play in mobilising against voter apathy; these can be achieved through intensified voter education and programmes and policies driven campaigns,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Inter Party Advisory Council, Alhaji Yabagi Sani, commended NOA for organising the summit, saying that such engagement would curb electoral violence and vote buying.
Sani said that violence in any election would trigger loss of government revenue and properties.
”Volence also dissuades domestic and foreign investors.
It paves way for people who are corrupt to be elected.
“So, at the end of the day, the nation will not have competent leaders that will provide solutions to the problems that we are having.
“But when citizens are properly educated, especially when they know the implication of what they are doing to the nation, they will be disinterested in anything that will create violence,’’ he said.
Also, Hajia Lami Lau, the National President, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), reiterated that political parties should shun all forms of violence and play by the rules of the game.
Lau, represented by the Director of Programmes, Mrs Nnena Emedolibe, said that NCWS would always be the vanguard of good behavioral attitudes and promote information dissemination through its platform against violence during election.
Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said that the summit on violence-free elections was commendable.
Yakubu, represented by the Director, Election and Party Monitoring, Mr Aminu Idris, said that the commission had created an enabling environment for greater knowledge about the processes and rules of the election.
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), has condoled with the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, over the passing of her mother Hajiya Zainab Ali.
The national president of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, in a condolence message on Thursday in Abuja, commiserated with the family, friends and associates of the late matriarch.
Lau said that Ali was a woman who devoted her life to charity and service to humanity.
The NCWS national president said that the good life Zainab, popularly called “Gogo” lived reflected in her wisdom while counseling young people.
She said that Ali’s diligence in business and pervasive love for her children, orphans, neighbours and the community was exemplary life.
Lau prayed that the Almighty God would remember her profound love for people while on earth and grant her eternal rest.
She also prayed that the Almighty God would grant the entire families the fortitude to bear the loss.
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) on Monday commended Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers for ending the denial of women to family inheritance.
The national president of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, gave the commendation in a statement in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Wike on Thursday signed into law, the Rivers State Prohibition of the Curtailment of Women’s Right to Share in Family Property Law No. 2 of 2022 along with the Rivers Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Law No. 3 of 2022, and the Rivers Pension Reform (amendment) Law No. 4 of 2022. The law states that female children in Rivers can now fully participate in the sharing of their family inheritance.
”We appreciate Wike for signing a law that recognised women in family inheritance.
”This is a step in the right direction, as women in Rivers will soon be part of family inheritance.
”As a council, we thanked Gov. Wike for this giant support for women, and we called on other state governors to do same.
”We hope that this law will make Nigerian men have a rethink on the way they treat the women,” she said.
The national president called on government at all levels to ensure the abolishment of some cultures and traditions that affect women negatively.
Lau said that women are partners in progress, adding that this gesture should also be extended to women inclusion in governance.
The national president said she was optimistic that the gender bills which members of the national assembly rejected during the 1999 Constitution amendments would be given due consideration some day.