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.
INEC, NGO seek increased women’s participation in electoral process
The SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria in collaboration with the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria has called for increased women’s participation in electoral process.
The call was made at the training for women and other marginalised groups on peace building, mitigation, human rights, gender and participation, on Monday, in Ibadan.
The guest speaker, Dr Esther Sanya, the representative of the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), Oyo State chapter, said that there had been growing recognition of untapped capacity and talents of women in political leadership.
Sanya noted that women’s engagement in politics would help to advance gender equality.
“Research indicates that whether a legislator is a male or female has a distinct impact on his or her policy priorities.
“There is also strong evidence that as more women are elected to office, there is a corollary increase in policy making that emphasises quality of life and reflects the priorities of families, women, ethic and racial minorities,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Lateef Ariori, the Director, Child Welfare Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social inclusion, said that women should be given substantial consideration in the design and execution of political participation process.
Ariori charged women organisations in the state to work toward promoting gender equality among candidates, election officials, observers and other electoral participants.
“Women have a responsibility to oversee the electoral process because gender equality and true democracy fundamentally depend on women’s political engagement,” Ariori said.
Earlier, Mrs Catherine Ogwu, the Gender Desk Officer, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Oyo state, urged the women not to sell their votes or be intimidated during the forthcoming general elections.
She noted that the current Electoral Act and new technology from INEC would make 2023 general elections the most free and inclusive elections in the history of Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training featured lectures and presentations from different women groups in the state.
Afreximbank’s Kanayo Awani makes Nigeria Women Annual’s “100 Leading Women” list
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.
Gender Bills: Women should not lose hope on their demands – Senate President
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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