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WOMEN’s VOICES MUST BE HEARD – OMO-AGEGE

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Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo -Agege
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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has assured Nigerians that the 9th National Assembly will ensure that women’s voices are heard more than ever before.

This, he stressed, will be achieved by expanding the political space for women in the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution.

Omo-Agege, who chairs the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review, stated this in Abuja when he hosted a group, Centa for Organisational Development (COD) – a consortium of gender-based organisations under the aegis of SDG National Multi-Sector Group in Nigeria.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Senator Omo-Agege noted that since women represent 58 per cent of the Nigerian population, their voices must be heard.

He, therefore, urged them to take advantage of their numerical strength during elections.

The Delta Central lawmaker explained that his desire to expand the political space for women, informed his decision to sponsor a constitution alteration bill which seeks to reserve 40 percent of cabinet appointments for women.

He assured that the National Assembly is committed to greater women and youth involvement in public governance in Nigeria through creative legislative interventions.

According to him: “There is the need to drive inclusion and inclusive governance in both the Legislative and the Executive Arms of Government. This is a necessary step to achieving gender equality and full democratic governance.

“Because women represent more than half of the Nigerian population and the youths are the most energetic and dynamic segment of our society, I have no doubt that with many more of them participating in the decisions that shape our lives, they would pave the way for a more just, equitable, and peaceful society.

“The Ninth National Assembly is championing the removal of clogs hampering the actualization of a comprehensive self-development of women and youths through legislative interventions.”

Earlier, Leader of the group, Lady Lilian Okoro, said the visit was to partner with the office on the forthcoming International Day of the Girl Child celebrated globally on the 11th of October.

Lady Okoro explained that the theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Digital generation; Our Generation’ is geared towards equipping the girl child with the relevant digital technology knowledge and skills as well as making them digitally savvy in the use of Information Communication Technology gadgets and the social media.

Specifically, she expressed the desire of the organisation to partner with the office towards hosting a National Digital Bootcamp for Nigerian Girls as part of events marking the day.

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Business & Economy

Afreximbank’s Kanayo Awani makes Nigeria Women Annual’s “100 Leading Women” list

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Mrs. Kanayo Awani - Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative Division
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The Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative Division, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, has been named among the 100 outstanding women leaders in Nigeria, according to the list published in the 2022 edition of Nigeria Women Annual: 100 Leading Women.

Mrs. Awani’s listing acknowledges her distinguished career and contributions to the development of society.

As Managing Director, Mrs. Awani currently leads the Bank’s efforts in implementing its intra-African trade and industrialisation strategies.

A statement by the bank said she successfully led Afreximbank’s engagement in support of the establishment and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and was the arrowhead for the introduction and organization of the biennial Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), which has delivered trade and investment deals valued at over US$70 billion.

She previously led Afreximbank’s Trade Finance and Branches Department from 2009 to 2016, growing it into the Bank’s most profitable department which accounted for over 80 percent of its loan book.

Mrs. Awani is also the Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of Factors Chain International (FCI), a global factoring association.

“The Nigeria Women Annual: 100 Leading Women” is the premier qualitative profiling of phenomenal women who have contributed to the development of Nigeria and the world.

A gender-specific biographical compendium, it responds to existing gender gaps in Nigeria’s biographical documentation and leadership and, in 2022, focused on the most inspirational and influential women whose work contributed to shaping Nigeria’s collective history during the year.

This year’s list includes technology experts, politicians, teachers, activists, development practitioners, C-Suite corporate leaders, and other notable women.

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Gender

Gender Bills: Women should not lose hope on their demands – Senate President

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan
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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has advised women not to lose hope on their demands for legislations on gender related matters.

Lawan spoke in Agasa in Kogi State on Thursday against the backdrop of some gender related bills that recently failed to scale through at the National Assembly in the ongoing review being carried out on the 1999 Constitution.

Senate President  made a strong case for education of the girl child shortly before he commissioned a 600 capacity JAMB CBT Centre which was facilitated by Senator Yakubu Oseni who is representing Kogi Central Senatorial District.

“I know somebody will say gender bills have failed in the National Assembly. That is democracy. Let’s continue to lobby.

“We should continue to lobby because nobody will like to undermine anybody. Let’s not lose hope.

“Every male member in the National Assembly is a “He for She” because I don’t think there is anybody who is not married in the National Assembly.

“We will continue to work together with gender based organisations especially those that genuinely want to engage with members of the National Assembly because if you are not able to get something, if there is a failure, we should make it a political capital that tomorrow, we say, you were not able to do it yesterday, can you do it today. That will help us in ensuring that we get some of these hurdles out of the way.

“Most of us have our daughters as well. So we know that everybody is one way or the other connected to this struggle but we should not lose hope,” Lawan said.

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Gender

Gender Bills: Nigerian Women Continue Protest At NASS For Fifth Day

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Nigerian Women protesting at the entry point of National Assembly Complex Abuja
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Women under various groups on Thursday continued their protest at the National Assembly gate.

For the fifth day, the women gathered early morning at the National Assembly demanding that lawmakers rescind their decision over rejection of five gender bills in the process of amendment of 1999 constitution.

The protest by the women drawn from various groups started on Wednesday, March 2, and members of the House of Representatives in reaction to their demands, on Tuesday, March 8, rescinded their decision on three of the gender bills.

The women, however, continued the protest demanding the members of the Senate join their House of Representatives in re-visiting the bills.

They also want approval for all the five gender bills.

Among other demands, the women want specific seats in the National Assembly, indigeneship of their husband’s state after five years of being together, and 35% affirmative action for women.

They insist that they will continue to picket the gate of the National Assembly till all their demands are met.

They also threatened to vote out the lawmakers who voted against women in the constitutional review.

They demand that the voting pattern for those bills be released to them so they can mobilse women at all levels of government to vote out the lawmakers who they say took a stand against Nigerian women at the constitutional review.

The groups gathered for the protest include the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), Federation of Muslim Women Association (FOMWA), Women Organisation for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA), Women In Business (WIMBIZ), Action Aid, Yiaga Africa, the Islamic Youth League, among others.

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