BY: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Leader of Adolescent Girls and Women Support Group, Dr. Lydia Umar has promised to ensure more women participate actively in the political scene especially vying for elective positions in Kaduna State.
Dr. Umar who stated this during a press conference in Kaduna, North West, Nigeria said after 18 years of democracy women remained absent from mainstream party leadership and elective positions where major decisions are made that affect them, their husbands and children.
She added that even the token office bestowed on them in political parties’ executive committee as women leader lacks the voice to make any positive impact in a male-dominated party leadership; hence women have remained largely voters and campaigners for men.
Dr. Umar stressed that the number of women who managed to break through the ranks are grossly insignificant compared to the effort, commitment and unwavering loyalty displayed by them.
She said in view of this, the Gender Awareness Trust, (GAT) and Voices4Change over the last six months implemented a project titled: “Building Women for Action in Governance and Leadership Position”. She said the deliberation has produced a platform known as “Adolescent Girls and Women Support Group”.
According to her, the platform is to serve as engine room for women and gender concerns in the state; saying one major objectives of the platform is to increase number citizens in Kaduna state that show positive attitude towards women’s active participation in leadership and governance at all levels especially in view of the upcoming local government election and the 2019 general elections.
“We call on the Kaduna State Government through its agency, SIECOM to as a matter of urgency organize Local Government elections, to avoid a clash with election campaigns for the general election likely to take off in earnest next year.
“We call on Kaduna State Legislators to consider and begin the process of legislation for a 35 per cent Affirmative Action as contained in the National Gender Policy along the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill.
“We call on INEC/SIECOM should consider and come up with a policy that would require political parties to entrench gender equity in their EXCO leadership structures by providing special quotas for women, youths, People Living With Disabilities (PLWD) and other vulnerable groups in the spirit of fairness, justice and good conscience.
“We Civil Society Organizations to join this platform in intensifying campaigns on the need to have more women, youths, PLWD and other marginalized groups actively participate in politics and elections with a view to reversing the current position of exclusion in the state.
“We call Kaduna State Traditional, Religious, Community Leaders and all electorate to support women and other marginalized groups by openly showing positive attitudes towards women in politics for a fair, just and equitable society.”