Reps And UN Partner To Enhance Female Representation In Governance

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In a notable move towards achieving gender equality and promoting inclusive governance, the House of Representatives has collaborated with the United Nations to enhance the involvement of women in decision-making procedures.

During a gathering in Abuja on Thursday, the Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas, clarified that the alliance aims to strengthen the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill and the Bill concerning Women’s Parliamentary Seats.

Speaking on behalf of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu highlighted that this advocacy collaboration will act as a means to engage with other relevant parties, particularly constituents, to advocate for greater inclusion of women.

“So the advocacy should not only be within the people’s parliament alone, it should go beyond here to the rural areas for the constituents to know why we want to go this way.

“Let them see the comparative analysis between our country and other countries, let them see what we are missing by not going this route all this while, and let them see what we are going to gain if we go this route,” he pointed out.

He stressed the importance of empowering women and raising awareness among women to support female candidates.

Abbas emphasized the need for women to be motivated to bring their skills to the table and contribute to the country’s progress, rather than engaging in competition with men or being viewed confrontationally.

Previously, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, the UN Women’s Country Representative for Nigeria and ECOWAS, pointed out that Nigerians are looking to the National Assembly to tackle the issue of women’s under-representation.

While only about four percent of women are elected to the National Assembly, there are just seven women among the 45 members of the federal cabinet.

Eyong remarked that when it comes to gender representation in governance, Nigeria is not performing well compared to other countries on the continent.

“This is the challenge that we must all work together to surmount. You have demonstrated leadership, dedication, and passion in this journey.

“UN Women is committed to walk this journey and to build a strong and sustainable partnership with your office and with the membership of the National Assembly,” she assured.

Eyong mentioned that starting from 2019, the UN Women, supported by financial aid from the Canadian and Norwegian governments, has been backing strategic collaborations aimed at empowering women in politics.

Additionally, she highlighted that significant efforts have been put into economic empowerment, advocating for the rights of women and girls, and bolstering the voice and leadership of women across various sectors like development, peace, security, and humanitarian response.

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