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.
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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Strengthening institutional frameworks for improved women participation in politics Strengthening institutional frameworks for improved women participation in politics By Grace Yussuf News Agency of Nigeria After the just-concluded party primaries, many stakeholders are at loss as to why the participation of women in politics this time around has been abysmally low.
The stakeholders, especially women activists, have decried the decline in women’s political fortune and their political entrepreneurship in this dispensation.
They have attributed this development to the patriarchal nature in the country’s environment, while others have pointed to the culture that does not encourage women to go into politics.
However, the most important factor, they aver is the mercantile politics that is practiced in Nigeria.
The mercantile and monetisation of politics, make the political terrain not to be favourable to women, who obviously most cannot afford such political enterprise.
Statistics by the Gender Strategy Advancement International, (GSAI), on the low political participation of women in Nigeria showed that their participation falls below the world and African continental standards.
According to the report, the national average of women’s political participation in Nigeria remains at 6.7 per cent in elective and appointive positions.
This is far below the global average of 22.5 per cent and Africa regional average of 23.4 per cent and the West African Sub Regional average of 15 per cent, according to the report.
Prof. Joy Ezeilo, the Founder of Women of Aid Collective (WACOL), an NGO, an of activist with over 20 years experience, frowns at the dismal participation of women in politics in this dispensation, saying they have continued to be disenfranchised.
Ezeilo said it was unfortunate that the efforts to get affirmative action entrenched in the nation’s constitution or to get gender equal opportunities bill passed have not yielded expected results.
The moves were meant to enhance women’s chances at running and winning election.
She says the country has never seen this type of retrogression in women’s political fortune and a decline in their political entrepreneurship.
“In Nigeria, to get gender equal opportunities bill passed that would have enhanced woman’s chances at running and winning election, failed.
“And then, now the results from the primaries have shown poor performance for women and we are really worried.
I have done this work for two decades and I am saying when are we going to get it right?
“We have done it in other countries and we have seen how they succeeded.
In Rwanda, I was part of the movement for affirmative action and getting it into their constitution and more women are participating in politic in that country.
“And since 2015, it has declined and people are pointedly not too happy with APC for this declining women’s fortune because you expect the ruling party to be the one that will set an example and have significant number of women.
“And there is no way we can make claims to sustainable development without full participation of women in governance and indeed in all sectors including economy,’’ she said.
According to her, because of the mercantile politics that is practiced in Nigeria, the political terrain is not enabling, the monetisation is huge and most women cannot afford that.
“And of course, we know they are interrelated, sometimes women economic status also affects their political careers,’’ she said.
The law professor also attributed political violence and the current insecurity that pervades the entire country as contributing to women lagging behind in terms of being aspirants as their participation this time around is not as large as it was in 2015. Others also affirm that the rejection of the five Gender Bills presented to the National Assembly in early this year, which resulted in weeks of massive protests by women activists has also contributed to the low participation of women.
The demonstration described as the “mother of all protests” was aimed at calling on the federal lawmakers to reconsider all the gender bills that were rejected during the Constitution amendment earlier in the year.
The National Assembly in early March voted against bills providing for 35 per cent affirmative action for women in political parties’ administration, they also voted against the bill to create special seats for women in the national and state assemblies.
Both bills got an abysmal number of votes during the clause-by-clause consideration during the constitution amendment at both chambers in the parliament.
Another activist, Ms Ene Obi, the Country Director of ActionAid, also lamented the low participation of women in politics in this dispensation as compared to 2011 and 2015. “I think there are several factors responsible for low participation of women, there are very few women right now in politics, because of the patriarchal nature we have in our environment.
“And because of our culture and also not receiving the encouragement from the political class from the government of Nigeria,’’ Obi said.
She said governments lacked the political commitment to implement the 35 per affirmative action for female participation in governance, both appointive and elective, even though the National Gender Policy has stipulated it.
According to her, with the present 6.7 per cent of women representation, whether it is an appointive position or elective position, the impact of women cannot be felt.
This, she said stemmed from lack of recognition of women in the political parties.
“Do the major parties recognise women participation?
Let’s come down to the current one where we have 109 senators and we have only eight women and we have 306 house of representatives and we have about 13 women.
’’ “So what we should be saying now is that we are at a point where things need to be done and that is why the gender bills was sent to the National Assembly, because we try to review and reflect on what is done in the other parts of the world,’’ she said.
Obi says the 35 per cent affirmative action women are seeking for now is that political parties need to make it as a rule to insert in their own constitution 35 per cent of women representation in both appointments and elective positions.
She cited Rwanda, which is in Africa, as a country which deliberately encouraged women’s participation and the percentage of their women in governance “is very impressive.
’’ Making reference to the Federal Character Commission, she says it came into being because of diversity in the country’s representation.
She advises that the concept should be reflected to correct the imbalance in the quality of the population in the national life that will lead to quality decisions.
“When decisions are taken in the board room; who are those present in these boardrooms?
And the reason why we are taking it seriously now is because women are dying in the maternity wards, dying in road accidents, and through terrorists attacks, they are dying, their husbands and children are also dying.
“But women are not there to make decisions that will help them survive the vagaries of the system.
“So when we look at women representation, we have to look at security, it has to do with people that are making choices for them; when we have conflicts it is women that are being raped.
“Many women and young girls are carrying children of their enemies, children of their rapists and we are having hundreds of children roaming around with no body wanting them,’’ she said.
Obi praises the role played by the late wife of the military president, Mrs Maryam Babangida, after the Beijing Conference of 1995, when through the Ministry of Women Affairs created the National Women Commission.
“You remember that under her husband then, she was very active and very concerned about the women of Nigeria and so because of her, women that were not ordinarily coming out had to be coming out.
“She will ask for the wives of the local government chairmen to come out, likewise, when she goes to the states, she will want the wives of the state governors to come out and that was the time that many women in the north were not coming out.
“And that made it look like a fiesta but then it actually brought women out and when you come out and learn about new things you would not go back and do the same.
Women started becoming politically active then,’’ she said.
The ActionAid boss is of the opinion that men are just being insensitive to the choices to be made for quality living, quality population and quality decisions by not including women in the scheme of things.
She says the call for the creation of an extra seat in every senatorial zone, to bring them on board for quality discussion, was not taken.
“ There is no way men can represent women.
We have how many committees in the senate, how many women are there?
And we have only 13 women in the House of Representatives.
Does that mean that we don’t have qualified women?
“This extra seat in the house of representatives for example accounts for only one per cent of the budget and you can easily accommodate it because the Nigerian parliament is one of the highest paid in the world in a place where is the poverty capital in the world,” Obi said.
Obi describes the situation now as unfortunate as the country has millions of female lawyers, medical doctors, engineers and women in different professions “and they cannot be encouraged to be brought on board in governance?
’’ “Unlike the time before we got independence when the women then with their standard six, went and challenged the colonial government and participated in the struggle for the emancipation of Nigeria,’’ she said.
According to a GSAI report, Nigeria ranks 181 of 193 countries on the Gender Equality Index, for countries with low women representation in governance.
The ranking took into consideration reasons such as poor resource allocation in the economic and social sectors, frequent conflicts, forced displacements and inadequate inclusion of women and girls’ perspectives in policy-making decisions.
The report says other reasons include low representation of women in governance and politics; and inadequate legal framework and limited capacity to support women’s empowerment and equality efforts, (UN Women, 2020).
“Despite all efforts to promote the contribution of women in the domain of politics and decision making, women have continued to record low representation at all tiers and levels of governance although they constitute almost half of the electorate.
“Findings reveal that males constituted 94.2 per cent of the members of the National Assembly in the periods from 1999 to 2015 (on average), while female participation remained low at 5.8 per cent (National Bureau of Statistics, 2019),” the report said.
The Executive Director, GSAI, Ms Adaora Onyinchere, wonders why the Federal Government has not considered certain policies on gender inclusion.
Onyinchere spoke at a two-day capacity building workshop with the theme: “Capacity Building Workshop for Reporters and Editors on Media Independence to Promote Women’s Economic Inclusion and Gender Accountability in Governance”, in Abuja.
“Statistics of women from 1999 to date both in governance, in politics and the way government has tailored their implementation of gender budget has totally been null and void, for a population with over 49.2 per cent.
“It is a serious problem and the need to evaluate and look at what government has done, is very important.
“From our investigations, there is no sense of duty to women’s inclusion at the community level.
So it seems as if there’s not enough effective implementation of policies at the grassroots,’’ Onyechere said.
In the same vein, Hajiya Lami Adamu Lau, the National President of NCWS, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) calls on political parties to restructure their policies to reflect gender balance.
Lau says that is why the council has been embarking on advocacy drives to all political parties seeking ways of working together with them to strengthen the country’s democracy to ensure that women are actively involved parties politics.
“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.
Lau decries that Nigerian women have 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 11 per 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”, she said.
Lau condemns the National Assembly recent rejection of five gender bills, saying 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.
She says this discrimination has kept women at the bottom level of the party hierarchy and outside of the circles where decisions are being made on candidate nomination and selection.
She urges that all the parties to be known for zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women in the political space as enshrined in their constitutions.
Another activist, Ms Ene Ede, the Executive Director, Equity Advocates says apart corruption and corrupt practices which have the bane of political parties, there has been no will for women to push hard in making demands on leaders on their exclusion and marginalisation.
Ede says if legal actions are taken against violations of compliance to affirmative action principles of minimum of 35 per cent reserved positions on both elective and appointive are for women, then the attention of the government will be drawn to their issues.
“If all opportunities and privileges anywhere, 35 per cent are exclusively reserved for females.
Also if the national, state local government lawmakers and other two arms of governments effectively make legal.
“Finally if media as watch dog keeps track of published documents, then the issue of women participation in governance and politics, will be effectively pushed to the front burner,’’ she said.
According to Ede, women and other people of conscience must stop this democratic retrogression.
“See the composition of Presidential campaign organisations of the two main political parties – APC and PDP is very retrogressive by standard and intention.
The two parties are ready for war and distraction,’’ she said.
Other stakeholders have called on political parties to reserve the positions of female running mates in their parties.
Specifically, the U.
S.-based National Democratic Institute has expressed concern over the exclusion of women as running mates in the presidential primaries for the 2023 elections.
It, therefore, emphasised the need for the media to beam attention on the marginalisation of women in the last presidential primaries by political parties.
These recommendations were among the highlights of a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day media training in Calabar for 25 journalists on gender reporting.
The event was organised by Women In Politics Forum (WiPF ) for selected journalists, and the communiqué was signed by the President of WiPF, Ebere Ifendu.
Ifendu said that the media needed to be intentional in projecting women in politics through the publication of stories that would focus on issues rather than irrelevant personal matters.
The communiqué read, “Participants also observed that as a prelude to the 2023 presidential election, none of the major political parties made women their running mates, thereby, fueling the continued marginalisation of women.
“The media should beam attention on the marginalisation of the last presidential primaries in this regard.
“Journalists should generate story ideas and write stories on women in politics and amplify women’s success stories either in politics or other spheres of life.
“The media should ensure that more women are featured regularly on guest programmes.
’’ “Media organisations should deliberately create special programmes or allot slots for women-related programmes.
Women groups should partner with media executives through advocacy visits to establish women-focused programmes.
“Media organisations should avoid the use of stereotypes in their description of women holding public offices.
“Media organisations and reporters should commit to reporting women-related stories every two weeks or perhaps, once a month for visibility.
“Reporters and media agencies should compile a data bank or compendium of women open to interviews,” Ifendu said.
Also on the way forward, Ezeilo expresses belief that women can raise the quality of leadership, adding that for 2027, women have to start working towards that now.
She expresses the hope that the female members of National Assembly will not give up the good work of pursuing the passage of the gender bills, which she describes as “ a beautiful piece of legislation, progressive piece of legislation.
’’ She says the problem is deep seated and women in have to get to the root of it.
Ezeilo says it is time for decisive action by women to negotiate power.
“We have to negotiate this power.
We can’t be waiting for them to serve us.
We just have to serve ourselves.
We have to just serve our interests.
“We have to stand up in solidarity.
We have to take concerted action to make sure we begin now to bargain that patriarchy, that power from men and make sure that there is division of power and that power is shared in a way that represents women and women interest,’’ she said.
Ene of ActionAids says a lot of education is going on about the continuous voters registration for people should make sure they get their PVCs. “If I see a woman on a ballot paper and no matter the party, and if you are bold enough to come out to contest, you will get my vote,’’ Ene said.
She also stresses the need for unity among women to overcome the patriarchal struggle.
“If we can unite and come together it will result to a lot of bonding.
And we are working with other organisations to make sure the needful is done.
“We have not given up on the gender bills, because there are conventions that Nigeria that signed into that have not been domesticated, so will continue until those gender bills are represented,” Ene said.
Beside recommitting and reconsidering all the five gender bills, women are also asking the lawmakers to pass the Gender and Equal Opportunities bill currently before the Senate and immediately domesticate the African Charters Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, which Nigeria ratified in 2004. The National Assembly is also being asked to domesticate the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which Nigeria ratified in 1985. For Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Nigeria’s legislature, which is male-dominated with a very poor women representation, which spreads across political and elective positions, must be changed to also favour both genders.
“Nigerian women have resolved continue to struggle to push back on the misogynistic attitude of some of the lawmakers and the pattern of neglect toward women concerns and disregard for “womanity’’.
“We reject further dehumanisation of Nigerian Women.
The constitution should cure the defect and we will continue to protest to show our dissatisfaction.
“We call on the Senate President and the Speaker to call an urgent meeting to discuss how to readdress the wrong if not we shall continue to occupy the National Assembly,” Akiyode-Afolabi, the co-convener of Womanifesto, said on behalf of protesting women.
A member of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), and former Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, says nobody would give any woman free position; rather, women would continue to ask for affirmative action.
“We continue to encourage more women to be in positions of authority.
We should be able to come together as women to say, “No Women, No Vote”.
“If we do not put women in positions of authority, women will not vote.
I think this affirmative action will help to bring women on board.
“Stepping down is not only a woman’s issue.
I think we need to re-organise ourselves to make sure that our grassroots are intact, that the delegates that will vote are those who will vote for women.
“When we look at the population of women in Nigeria, we have more women than men.
When we look at the population of voters, we have more women than men,” Tejuosho said.
(NANFeature) *****If used please credit the author and News Agency of Nigeria
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has congratulated Nigerian female athletes for their spectacular performance at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.
The National President of the council, Hajiya Lami Lau, gave the commendation in a statement in Abuja on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nigerian female athletes who represented Nigeria at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games won12 gold, nine silver and 14 bronze medals to place the country on 7th position in the overall medal table.
Lau, therefore, congratulated the female athletes “for making us proud at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“The girls have been able to put smiles on our faces in spite of challenges currently bedevilling the country.
“It is a thing of joy that women have taken the centre stage in sports; we have been doing this in other fields of endeavour and we can replicate this feat even in politics.
“The performance of our daughters at the games goes a long way to give us hope that things will be better in Nigeria.
” The national president added that the Nigerian female athletes, aside winning different colours of medals, also set new records in the games.
She said “the likes of Tobi Amusan did not only win gold medal; she broke existing records and set new world record by winning a gold medal in the 100 meters hurdles; it is not a small feat.
” Lau called on the Federal Government and sport administrators to do more in developing female athletes, adding that “they have shown that the can perform with less supervision.
” NAN reports that Nigeria won her first gold medal at the commonwealth games 52 years ago in 1994 at Victoria Games in Canada.
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 Director-General of National Council for Art and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewa, on Friday called for women empowerment and inclusion in national development.
Runsewa made the call when the newly elected president of National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Hajiya Lami Lau with her executive visited NCAC headquarters in Abuja.
“I am of the belief that a nation that wants to grow must handle issues relating to women with utmost seriousness and supports.
“The role of women in nation building cannot be over-emphasised. Over the years, women have been relegated to the background on issues of development.
“If you want to develop a nation, all you need to do is to build the capacity of women and you will get the difference.
“We are losing our cultural values as a nation today because a lot of things are going wrong and I can tell you that it is because we are not giving women the right positions,” he said.
Runsewe appealed to the NCWS to also sensitise Nigerian youths on the menace of same sex marriage, men braiding hairs, transgender and others.
This, he said, were issues that had continued to affect women negatively and the council need to kick against it.
Runsewe promised to partner with the NCWS to empower the Nigeria women, organise workshops and programmes to sensitise Nigerians on the need to kick against vices that are alien to the Nigeria culture and values.
He said that the NCAC would also collaborate with the council on skill acquisition and other programmes to take the woman off the street and also protect the rights of children.
Earlier, the president of NCWS solicited the support of the NCAC to build the capacity of women to ensure women inclusiveness in nation building.
Lau said that Runsewe as the director general of NCAC has re-positioned the council with passion and utmost vigor.
“You have demonstrated and proven severally that you are a leader with great ideas and innovations; the council you manage is one of the most admired and popular in the Ministry of Culture.
“As you are aware sir, the NCWS is an umbrella body of all women organisations in Nigeria, with branches in 36 states, 774 local government areas and FCT, Abuja.
“This visit is timely as we look forward to a strategic collaboration with your agency in areas of skills acquisition, capacity training and empowerment of our vulnerable women.
“This will improve their livelihood and foster their contribution to national development.
“The NCWS under my leadership has commenced the development of a strategic plan as a roadmap for achieving the vision of the council for the next five years,’’ she said.
Lau said that the strategic plans were in the areas of promoting women in leadership and governance, economic empowerment for women, stimulating actions to strengthen legal and policy framework to end violence against women and girls.
Others she said were child protection and girl child education and building an effective and efficient NCWS as a valued partner for promoting the gender agenda.
The Country Director of Ipas, Mr Lucky Palmer, on Monday promised to partner with the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) Nigeria to remove all forms of barriers affecting women.
Palmer made the promise when the newly elected President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, led a delegation on a visit to Ipas office in Abuja.
Ipas is an international, non-governmental organisation that increases access to safe abortions and contraception.
While congratulating the new executive, Palmer pledged commitment to work with NCWS, adding that Ipas was all about rights of women.
According to him, most women lack economic empowerment, Ipas seeks to remove all economic, health and social barriers affecting or limiting women in collaboration with NCWS.
“Ipas will work to ensure that no woman dies from child birth complications, though COVID-19 affected our funding but we will be ready to renew our partnership with NCWS.
“To this effect, we will assign one of our staff to liaise with NCWS programme officer to see possible areas to collaborate and develop a Memorandum of Understanding to drive the programmes,’’ he said.
On the issue of abortion, Palmer said that the law does not permitted abortion, adding that a lot of women are dying as a result of unsafe abortion.
He said Ipas advocated safe abortion services but reiterated the fact that family planning was key.
Earlier, Lau said that Ipas and NCWS began partnership in 2002, adding that with Ipas intervention, the council received several grants to sponsor advocacy and sensitisation programmes on women`s reproductive health and rights campaigns.
“We are not ignorant of the trainings offered to our previous national officers and members of staff of NCWS in various areas.
“We are here to strengthen the relationship between Ipas and NCWS and seek other ways of collaboration in line with your mandate,’’ she said.
Lau urged the Ipas country director to consider the council in trainings, advocacies and programmes to further strengthen the partnership capacity.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Monday demolished a mini market allegedly operating on plot of land belonging to National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), at Area 1 illegally.
Mr Ikharo Attah, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, said this in Abuja after the demolition.
He said while addressing newsmen on the spot that the area, which was close to NCWS secretariat, constituted a nuisance to the environment.
He said the demolition of all the illegal structures would bring about sanity in the area that had been converted to mini market against the Abuja Master Plan.
“This place is constituting nuisance to Area 11, it started as a small restaurant, gradually it metamorphosed into a market, now it has become a serious challenge.
“The activities on this single plot of land have become a serious issue; the FCT Minister, Malam Mohammad Bello, has directed that we should clear the place.
“Such illegality will not stand. We gave them warning before coming.”
Attah, said after the demolition, the owner of the land would decide on what to be done in the plot.
A customer who was at the scene, Charles Olili, said the place was the only nearby restaurant that its food was affordable, but that “government had powers to decide what is good for the people.
“It is a legal plot of land but has been turned into an illegal market,’’he said.
Also, a trader, Rafat Mohammed, said she was worried because nowhere for her to start up.
“This is worrying, where will I go and start? Government is supposed to provide an alternative place for us before the demolition,” she said.
One of the traders and a leader, Malam Ibrahim Lawal, who expressed anger over the incident, admitted that the FCT Administration gave them a notice of three months but it was not yet time.
“I feel very bad because we were given three months but we are not up to the three months; we were following up the issue till late last week, the people that came told us that they were sent by the minister.”
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on Wednesday promised to partner the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) to train 50 women in each state of the federation.
The Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, made the promise when the newly elected President of NCWS, Hajiya Lami Lau, led a delegation on a visit to the directorate in Abuja.
Fikpo said that the NDE was committed to training and empowering women to become financial managers and for a better Nigeria.
He said that the NDE before now had always had a branch dedicated to women and women only to prioritise the directorate’s interest on women matters.
According to him, when I came on board a year ago, a think we needed to do more for the women, so we are creating a scheme, Women Employment Collaboration Scheme for women only.
”This is all aimed at reaching the women at the grassroots using the Local Government Areas (LGAs), ” he said.
Fikpo said that since the NCWS had its presence in all the states and local government areas, the directorate would use the council to establish its presence in the LGAs.
”Even though we have structures and offices in all the states of the federation, establishing our presence in the local government has been our major concern.
”Since the NCWS has presence in the local government areas, your organisation will become our machinery to establish our presence in the LGAs.
”For your request to train 50 women; that is not a problem because it falls under our mandate and we will be glad to do so,” he said.
Lau solicited the support of the NDE for more inclusive participation of Nigerian women in training and empowerment.
She urged the NDE to train 50 women in each state including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
”We also wish to request greater collaboration between NCWS and NDE in rural women empowerment programme of your agency, to stimulate the consciousness of rural women and ensure they are well represented,” she said.
Lau congratulated the director-general on his confirmation and prayed that God would help him to do more for women and Nigeria in general.