By Bashir Bello, KANO
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Women’s Day, a Non-Governmental Organization, ActionAid Nigeria has said that all eyes were on the country to implement its commitment on 35% affirmative action on women inclusion in all arms of governance.
The Group’s Governance Manager, Celestine Okudili-odoh who stated this while commemorating the day in Kano said the government should uphold the commitment in order to increase the country’s credibility before the International Communities.
Okudili-odoh however continued when he said that no nation can progress with over 50% of its population which comprises of women and youth excluded from contributing to its development.
According to him, “In Nigeria, women participation in politics is not proportionate to the over 45% of the nation’s population which they represent and this has not translated into equal representation in political leadership positions. Over the years, women and Youth have been excluded from leadership and decision making processes.
“Unequivocally, no nation can progress with over 50% of its population excluded from contributing to its development. Failure to recognize this is simply planning to fail from the beginning.
“For our emerging democracy in Nigeria to be sustainable, all groups within the population must be actively involved in the governance process. Their voices must be heard, and their experiences and expertise utilized for the optimal growth and development of the country. Therefore, we must #BreakTheBias that limit women’s active participation in politics and governance processes.
“Therefore, there is a need for women and youth inclusion and participation in politics.
“We called on the Nigerian Government to live up to the commitment of 35% Affirmative action on women across all arms of governance noting that upholding the commitment will increase the country’s credibility before the International Community.
“The We-You project with its “Hope, Action and Progress for women and youth in politics” campaign seeks to strengthen the relationship between citizens, government and politicians in Nigeria with an overarching goal to engender an inclusive and responsive democratic process and also outcomes.
“The We-You Project is being implemented in Kano and Kaduna by ActionAid and Centre for Communication and Social Impact, CCSI with funding from Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office – Gov UK,” Governance Manager, Mr. Celestine Okudili-odoh however stated.