The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) said it had commenced advocacy visits to political parties to create awareness on the inclusion of women ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
The National President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Lau said that the advocacy visit would urge political parties to include women at all levels of elective positions to attain the 35 per cent affirmative action.
“We have written letters to all the political parties for a visit to enable us chart a way forward ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
National chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Sen. Iyorcha Ayu, President of National Council of Women Societies, Hajiya Lami Lau with her members at the PDP Secretariat.
The NCWS national president said that the council had visited some of the political parties to discuss ways to carry women along in the forthcoming elections.
Lau said that the council held a symposium with the theme: “Transition Politics: The challenges and prospects for Gender Inclusions in Nigeria.
” The NCWS national president said the symposium was to further drive home the council’s agenda.
She said that the advocacy visit was part of the council’s ongoing advocacy to seek ways of working together to strengthen the country’s democracy.
Lau urged political parties to adopt the tenets of true democratic principles as a guide to all party’s decisions and actions.
She said: ”Nigerian women had continued to register poor representation in politics and leadership in spite of the huge numerical strength and various national, international legal instruments on gender inclusion and mainstreaming.
”In the history of Nigeria’s democratic rule, women have not attained up to 11 per cent representation in both elective and appointive positions.
“We want to change this narrative and ensure that women’s representation in political and leadership positions will change.
”This starts with the 2023 General Elections and political parties have a major role to play in achieving these.
“As a council, we want to collaborate with growth driven institutions, and visionary leadership that share progressive ideals for true democracy, equity and social justice.
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The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has called on political parties to restructure their policies to reflect gender balance.
Hajiya Lami Adamu Lau, the National President of NCWS said this when she led a delegation of NCWS national executives and other members to visit the People’s Democratic Party National Chairman in Abuja.
Lau said that the visit was strategic since it came after the council’s symposium with the theme, “Transition Politics: The challenges and prospects for Gender Inclusions in Nigeria”.
She said the visit was part of the council’s ongoing advocay to political parties to seek ways of working together to strengthen the country’s democracy.
“A truly egalitarian nation is possible when we embrace our differences and give every Nigerian a sense of belonging, irrespective of gender and other mundane considerations,’’ she said.
She called for the adoption of the tenets of true democratic principles as a guide to all party decisions and actions.
Lau said Nigerian women had continued to register poor representation in politics and leadership in spite of the huge numerical strength and various national, international legal instruments on gender inclusion and mainstreaming.
According to her, in the history of Nigeria’s democratic rule, women have not attained up to 11per cent representation in both elective and appointive positions.
“Thus denying the huge population of capable and credible women with robust credentials and sound moral values the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the economic development of our dear nation.
“Political parties play very key roles in leadership selection in any democratic system.
“Our visit today is predicated on the need to collaborate with growth driven institutions, and visionary leadership, who share progressive ideals for true democracy, equity and social justice,’’ she said.
Lau noted that the National Assembly recently rejected five gender bills, adding that these representatives were from various parties and their act was at variance to their party ideology.
”Women have continued to experience subtle discrimination, bias and stereotyping within the party leadership structures.
”None of the major parties live up to the recommendation of the 2008 Electoral Reform Committee of 20 per cent of women in governing boards of political parties,” she said.
Lau said that this discrimination had kept women at the bottom level of the party hierarchy and outside of the circles where decisions were being made on candidate nomination and selection.
She said that PDP should be known for zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women in the political space as enshrined in her constitutions.
Responding, Sen. Iyorcha Ayu, the Chairman of PDP called for more women participation in politics, adding that this was the only way to get women involved in every level in politics.
“PDP has recognised women and we are also determined to push women forward.
”We hope to continue in the same spirit to encourage women, we will bring more women out to participate in the public affairs.
The National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) on Wednesday urged women to discourage their husbands and children from thuggery, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Mrs Lami Adamu-Lau, National President of NCWS, made the call at a symposium to mark the 100 days in office of the newly inagurated officers of the council.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of Adamu-Lau’s presentation was, “Transition Politics: Challenges and Prospects of Gender Inclusion in Nigeria”.
She said the event was aimed at embracing the optimism of Nigeria women and an opportunity to provide an up-to-date disposition to strategise towards participatory political leadership.
” Therefore, as mothers we should strongly discourage our husbands and children against political thuggery even as the country is faced with security challenges.
” I am urging all Nigeria women to go out there and participate in the ongoing Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) registration.
” NCWS is planning a nationwide sensitisation of Nigerians leveraging on the window of extension.
“I sincerely hope that this interaction will strengthen our commitment to continue to work closely together in support of improved gender inclusiveness in political activities and other sustainable developments in Nigeria,” she said.
According to her, the new officers have been able to develop a roadmap for achieving the vision of the council for the next five years, particularly promoting women in leadership and governance.
She listed their other achievements to include promoting economic empowerment for women, stimulating actions to strengthen legal and policy framework to end violence against women and girls, amongst others.
she added that the NCWS would partner with National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to train 50 women in each state of the federation including the FCT, totaling 1850 women on skills acquisition.
The president also said that the National Council for Arts and Culture, would also support NCWS to train and empower more vulnerable women on skills acquisition to enable them contribute to National development.
Also, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, represented by Mrs Jummai Idomije, encouraged women to change the narrative by ensuring that they participate in the PVC registration.
“The 2023 general elections is around the corner, go and get your PVCs and encourage others to do so.
And we say no to violence during election,” she said.
Similarly, Dr Ramatu Tijani-Aliyu, Minister of State for FCT, urged Nigerian women to continue to advocate for improvement in their welfare.
The minister, represented by Mrs Hadiza Mohammed, Executive Secretary Social Development Secretariat, called for inclusion in decision making and improvement in the living standard of the Woman.
“We must say no to marginalisation.
We must press for increased slots in the National Assembly and Ministerial appointments.
” Let this symposium be to brainstorm on the challenges facing us in this direction and to find ways of surmounting them using the instrumentality of politics of inclusion and integration,” she said.
According to Prof.
Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) women’s participation enriches democracy and makes it more responsive to the aspirations of the people.
Yakubu, represented by Victoria Eta-Messi, Deputy Director, Gender Relations Division, said the commission is stepping up Voter Education activities with emphasis on increasing women’s participation in the electoral process through sensitisation and mobilisation programmes.
On her part, Mrs Ladi Bala, National President Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), urged women groups to continue to advocate for more women participation in politics, economy and appointive positions.
The Commissioner for Information, Ondo State, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, has called on the Federal Government to give women more space in governance.
She made the call at a virtual Media Event of the Akin Fadeyi Foundation with theme: “Gender Inclusive Governance;; on Tuesday.
According to her, there is need for opportunities for women in running the affairs of the country.
“The role of women is important; we are capable just like men, give women space in governance.
“There are obstacles erected against women in the political space, the affirmative action pushed into the Senate was rejected.” She urged women to be involved in politics.
“We have the population, we vote for the men, as women for us to achieve this we have to stand and support one another.
“We can occupy the space by working for ourselves.
“For us to be inclusive, we need to challenge the patrichal dominance of political bodies by having a well organsed movement.” She urged women not to relent.
“We cannot give up, we have to take radical action but not violent.
“If we want to lead and be successful in politics we must build power from the bottom.
“Do not forget the people you know from your primary, secondary and university days, to be powerful, you have to grow.
“Men are not better and smater than us, we solve problems and can manage intrigues, conspiracy and others better than men.
“It is just that we are not present at the table,” she said.
Ademola-Olateju urged women to string women along whenever they had the opportunity to be in governance.
“Wherever we find ourselves on the leadership scale, we must put into the front burner the issue affecting women.” The commissioner advised women in leadership positions to hold it in trust and make sure they did not erect barriers for other women to grow.
Dr Lilian Anomnachi, Executive Director, Technical Advice Connect LTD, expressed concern over the few numbers of women in politics.
“Only four per cent of women are in politics, women need to be nurtured, mentored so also hold power.
“The political space is dominated by men, we have been disadvantage and there are lot of equality.” She urged women to have more gender transforming agenda that would bring women issues to the forefront.
“If we are going to get it right in governance and politics, we need to be intentional and have more gender transforming agenda that will bring women issues to the forefront.
“It is not something that will happen overnight, we must be intentional about it.
“There are capable women that can perform well not just in governance but in every fabrics of the society where leadership roles are being played.
“We are peace makers and better managers.” Also, Mr Simon Kolawole, Chairman of the Akin Fadeyi Foundation, urged women not to be discouraged on the declining rate of their gender in governance.
“Do not allow the advocacy of women participating in politic to drop,” he said.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Akin Fadeyi, urged the Nigerian Government to give more support to women.
“Nigeria must support women, there must be increase in women participating in governance, they should not bear the name of a weaker vessel.
“It is time for women voices to be heard, it is time to have a space at the table,” Fadeyi said.
(NAN Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, says Nigerian women will only support twinning candidates contesting for elective positions in 2023 general elections.
Tallen said this at a news briefing on Tuesday to address reports of intimidation of female aspirants in their drive to secure political positions in the forthcoming election.
The minister explained that twinning, in this context, is the pairing of a male and female as the candidate and deputy at all levels of governance.
She said adoption of the twinning policy by political parties, would ensure equal representation of men and women, which would be in the best interest of all segments in the country.
She said the candidates would be made to sign a pact and negotiate better with all political parties, ahead of the general elections.
” I want to again make it clear that Nigerian Women can only support twinning at this time at all levels.They will sign a pact and negotiate better with all political parties ahead of time. For those who want to support the women’s cause, the time is now.
“We make up almost 50 per cent of the voting population, we constitute over 70 per cent of the voters who queue up in the rain, under the sun to support the candidates.Yet when they win, we are soon forgotten. Enough is enough,” she said.
According to her, the way forward is for a meaningful engagement, inclusion and participation of women at all levels.
She, therefore, encouraged women to support female candidature, adding that modalities for launching the Women Reconnect for a New Nigeria Initiative was on ground.
” We will be relying on the Media to help us spotlight this initiative as a wide advocacy platform for Nigeria Women.
” At this time, Gender Inclusion is our Agenda and on it we stand,” she said.
She, called on the media and other stakeholders to be steadfast in promoting the inclusion of the rights of women and children in the political agenda of candidates and their political parties.
She also stressed the need to stand against political violence and exploitation of women and the youth.
“At this moment, no women, no nation. The political party primaries are heating up at this time. Women are continuously being excluded and we are sad,”she said.
On her part, Ms Erika Godson, Deputy Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), encouraged women to support women to ensure gender equality in all areas.
Similarly, Hajiya Lami Lau, National President, National council for Women’s Societies (NCWS), reiterated the commitment of women groups nationwide to support women contesting for any political position.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday launched its revised Gender Policy 2021-2026, as part of its commitment towards electoral inclusivity.
The INEC Gender Policy (IPG), which was first developed in 2014, guided by the National Gender Policy (2006) and other Regional and International Instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory, has a provision for review every five years.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, speaking at the public presentation event in Abuja, supported by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), described the document as a milestone achievements.
Yakubu said the policy would strengthen the commission’s capacity to engage stakeholders to take on broad gender-sensitive issues in their mainstream operational and electoral plans and actions.
Yakubu, represented by the Chairman of the Outreach and Partnership Committee (OPC), Prof. Kunle Ajayi, explained that the revised policy would further boost the commission’s electoral inclusiveness.
Yakubu, according to INEC daily bulletin issued in Abuja, commended the painstaking efforts from within and outside the commission put towards developing the revised document.
He said that the reversed policy was another successful outcome of intensive and extensive engagements with INEC stakeholders, including political parties, MDAs, development partners, gender-focused CSOs and other leading gender experts.
Harping on the premium placed on gender mainstreaming and deliberate steps taken to work the talk, Yakubu recalled that the commission in March 2021, created the Gender and Inclusivity Department.
This decision, according to him, was carefully taken by the commission to give a special focus to electoral equity, fairness and inclusion, especially the universally recognised rights of the disadvantaged groups, including women.
Yakubu said that was for them to participate in the electoral space on equal basis by addressing the structural impediments that hinder their effective participation.
“Strategically put, with a Gender and Inclusivity Department established and a revised policy tool for intervention put in place for another five years, show the commission’s unrelenting commitment on electoral inclusion.
“This policy outlook for seamless interface on gender sensitive issues on the electoral process in the country could not have been more reassuring, even as the nation is gearing towards another General Election and off-season elections,” Yakubu added.
He commended IFES for providing technical support in the development of the policy and its subsequent review, saying other strategic interventions over the years have immensely enriched and stabilised Nigeria systems of elections and infrastructure.
INEC Commissioner, and Chairman of Legal Drafting and Litigation Committee, May Agbamuche-Mbu, described the policy as a living document.
Agbamuche-Mbu said that the policy was expected to foster gender balance in the commission and to stimulate stakeholders in the electoral process to do the same.
“It was revised to codify the commission’s gender sensitive actions for sustainable implementation.
“The public presentation of the Revised INEC Gender Policy is an attestation by the commission to the fact that its structure and operations at all layers, both internally and in its service delivery will progressively improve.
“This is with regards to gender-responsiveness in line with global best practices,” she said.
In his goodwill message, the Country Director of IFES, Seray Jah, said the launch of the updated gender policy had set the tone for increased women’s engagement in politics in Nigeria.
Jah added that INEC and its gender and inclusivity department now have a solid document to back its financial demands and material resources to achieve women’s participation in governance and electoral processes.
“This policy handbook is a powerful accountability and advocacy tool for the Commission as well as Nigerian women and will remain a key tool to realising national development goals,”Jah said.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberian President says Kwara is a model for women empowerment, as it demonstrates institutional reforms and political will as key for gender inclusion.
Sirleaf made this remark during the First Kwara State Gender (virtual) Conference organised by the state government on Thursday in Ilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the conference is “Institutional Reforms, Political will, the key to Gender Inclusion”.
Sirleaf said that advocacy for women empowerment should include reforms at various levels.
She described AbdulRazaq as a regional leader in the promotion of gender inclusion, urging other Nigerian leaders to emulate him.
“You have demonstrated that ensuring parity in leadership positions can be done.
“You have moved considerably the numbers of women at the leadership level in the civil service and the numbers of female cabinet members are true to be applauded,’’ she said.
According to her, mainstreaming gender inclusion in governance requires institutional and legal reforms as well as deliberate efforts by political leaders to give women a fair chance to contribute their quota to development.
In his remarks at the virtual conference, Gov. AbdulRazaq said gender inclusion was key to faster growth that leaves no one behind.
“We set out to offer a strong platform to state and non-state actors alike to discuss domestic, bilateral and multilateral strategies to increase women’s participation in our societies.
“True to that, we are joined at this conference by some of the strongest voices in the clamour for better opportunities for women in Africa.
“Kwara State is actively taking the lead in the campaign for gender inclusion because we are convinced that society works better and grows faster when no one is denied equal opportunities to succeed.
“We have no regret pursuing this noble cause,’’ he said.
The United Nations Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Comfort Lamptey, called for increased support for various measures that break all the barriers against women.
“We urge you to encourage other governors and bring them on board in this quest for gender equality,” she said.
Also speaking, ECOWAS Parliament Speaker, Sidie Mohamed-Tunis said Article 63 of the ECOWAS Treaty called on member states to formulate policies and development of programmes that enhance women’s economic, social and cultural conditions.
“ECOWAS has adopted several instruments and established institutions to secure social protection for women and increase their participation in governance.
“One of such instruments is the supplementary act on equality of rights between women and men for sustainable development in the ECOWAS region,’’ Tunis said.
Wife of the state governor, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, who co-hosted the conference, commended the state government for the event.
AbdulRazaq recalled steps so far taken in Kwara, including by her office, to promote gender inclusion.
“I trust that we will continue the conversation within and among communities to amplify the voice of every girl, listen to the word of every woman and support women in the political process,’’ she said.
The virtual conference was also attended Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina Mohammed and Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen among others.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday said it has raised 21 billion Mongolian togrog (MNT), about 7.5 million U.S. dollars, in a groundbreaking issue of the first offshore MNT-linked nomad bonds.
The Manila-based multilateral lender said the issue sets a new benchmark in the international bond market for frontier currencies.
The ADB said the bond carries a 10.1 percent semi-annual coupon with an amortizing 5-year maturity. Denominated in MNT but settled in U.S. dollars, the bond issue was underwritten by ING Bank and sold to a European asset manager, it added.
The ADB said the proceeds are deployed to fund ADB's Gender Inclusive Dairy Value Chain Project for Milko LLC in Mongolia.
"The emerging and frontier markets have come under pressure during the pandemic, therefore the ability to raise competitively priced term funding in Mongolian togrog at this time is a major achievement with tangible benefits in terms of currency risk mitigation for ADB's borrower," he added.
According to the ADB, currency-linked bonds are important in development terms because they help plot a yield curve where government issuance is often sparse.
It said the Mongolian domestic government bonds have maturities of up to three years only, and the government has not completed any new issue of MNT debt securities since September 2017, therefore ADB's nomad bond serves as a relevant benchmark.
ADB is a regular borrower in the mainstream international bond markets but has also led issuances in developing Asian countries as part of its efforts to promote local currency bond markets as an alternative to bank lending.
ADB has previously issued currency-linked bonds in Armenian dram, Georgian lari, Indian rupee, Indonesian rupiah, and Philippine peso.
Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members, 49 from the region.