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Don’t relent on quest for gender equality, consultant urges Nigerian women

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An Abuja-based Gender Consultant, Mrs Grace Ahmadu, had urged women to continue canvassing for gender equality and social inclusion to make their impact felt in the political space.

She stated this at a three-day training on “Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI)” organised by Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) in Abuja on Thursday.

The workshop was organised with the support of MacArthur Foundation and the Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED).

Ahmadu said that GESI was a concept that addressed unequal power relations between women and men and between different social groups.

While noting that women-related issues had been on the front burner of Nigeria’s politics, Ahmadu said that there was the need for gender mainstreaming.

“Gender mainstreaming is a strategy to improve the quality of public policies, programmes and projects, ensuring a more efficient allocation of resources.

“Better results mean increased well-being for both women and men, and the creation of a more socially just and sustainable society,” she said.

She said that the training was aimed at educating Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on how to better mainstream gender and social inclusion.

“The CTA is implementing a project on cultural values of the people living in the FCT with emphasis on women, girls and persons with disabilities.

“The idea is supporting CTA to better mainstream GESI to work toward reducing gender inequalities between women and men, girls and boys.

“We can achieve that through ensuring that gender is effectively mainstreamed at the planning stage; at the beginning of a project.

“Gender mainstreaming should not be an afterthought in the course of implementation of projects.

“The idea is, right at the project inception, you have these people at the back of your mind.”

On women-related bills rejected by the National Assembly, the consultant said that “we just need to keep pushing.

“This pushing dates back to years. You don’t stop, you keep pushing. I have not seen this kind of aggressiveness women organisation are putting as a result of the rejection. It is a welcome development,” she said.

In his submission, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Enugu State, said there was need for government and CSOs to restrategise at projecting the interest of women.

“Sometimes when civil societies work, the strategy is like an antagonistic one, a confrontational strategy. But we are developing a strategy that will make stakeholders their partners and not their adversaries.

“This is because we all see common challenges that everybody must work together to resolve,” he said.

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