By Gabriel Ewepu and Fortune Eromosele – Abuja

With political activitie heightened across the country ahead of 2023 general election, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, Perl, and Yiaga Africa, called for more inclusiveness of women and youth in governance and decision making process.

They made the call at a One-day Inter-party Dialogue organised by AAN, Perl, and Yiaga Africa, with theme ‘Hope, Action and Progress for Women and Youths in Politics’ in Abuja.

The Country Director of AAN, Ene Obi, said the one-day dialogue was aimed at campaigning for the inclusion of women and youths in governance processes in the country.

Obi also explained that, “The project is ‘Strength, Hope, Action and Progress’ for inclusive gender democratic processes and outcomes.

“We are here to dialogue with the political parties in addressing the inclusion of women and youth participation in the political process and get their commitments.”

She said the project which is also running in Kano and Kaduna and Sokoto and Lagos State, mainly coordinated by Yiaga Africa, and it tends to mobilize the critical minds of young people including Persons with Disabilities, PwD, and all other segments of the population that will lead to translating citizens demand into policies and actions.

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A former INEC National Commissioner, Election and Party Monitoring, Prof, Antonia  Simbine, said there is need for government at all levels to deliberately and aggressively push for women and youth inclusion as far as governance and sense of belonging are concerned.
Simbine emphasized that with more inclusion of women and young people in the process of decision making it will increase awareness and consciousness about issues that affect women and youth.

She said it will also go a long way to reduce the barriers women and youth having been contending with over the years, especially participating effectively in politics.
However, she added that there should be laws in place that would empower the National Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, to sanction media (modern and traditional) in terms of presenting issues concerning women and youth in a derogatory manner.

According to her, there is need to identify successful, well-respected and charismatic female and young leaders who have strong referent power to showcase as models of successful ‘Nigerian leaders’ and not just as ‘young’ or ‘female’ leaders only.

Meanwhile, the National Director of Publicity, People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Adm Chinwe Nnorom, said the topic of women and youth inclusiveness in governance cannot be overemphasised.

“There is no way you can run a democratic society successfully without involving women and youth. We are talking about getting some level of inclusiveness in governance processes.

“PDP has elaborated strategies on how to achieve these and involving women in all government processes will yield positive outcomes”, Nnorom said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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