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By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The President, Aspire Women Forum (AWF), Barrister Zainab Marwa-Abubakar, has described mentorship as a vital tool for inclusion in governance, saying it will help to create spaces for women and youth participation in political and entrepreneurial domains.

She spoke during her address on the strength of her advocacy for women empowerment at the ECOWAS parliament, Abuja weekend.

According to Marwa-Abubakar, the gender inclusion gap in Africa was yet to be overcome, saying more needed to be done to achieve parity in youths and women’s access to governance and other political systems.

To drive gender inclusion in politics, she said the role which women and youth play both developmentally and economically in any nation cannot be over emphasised.

“We are conversant in the problem of the systematic and institutionalised marginalization of women and youth based solely on their age, gender, limited opportunities, and assumed lack of political experience.

“I put it to you that mentorship is the single most important tool for creating a space of inclusivity for women and youth in both the political and entrepreneurial domain,” the AWF President said.

She also stated that the women and youths can no longer continue to wait for the right time, the right government or the right economy to press for political inclusion.

“Across all strata of society and transcending all borders, the same rings true. In the interest of the quantum leap of inclusion we seek and the paradigm shift to a culture of more subsumption of women and youth to occur, we must start with our very own selves and create those systems of mentorship in our own lives which will ultimately cascade down to create the wave of change that we so fervently crave. For the desired inclusivity, you will first have to include them at your level,” Marwa-Abubakar stressed.

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