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Plateau CBOs urge women to vote for gender-friendly leaders

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A group of Nigerian women
By Martha Agas
Community-based organisations (CBOs) in Plateau have urged women to vote only for gender-friendly leaders at all levels of government, to protect their rights and advance their wellbeing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBOs converged on Jos on Tuesday to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), with the support of Mercy Corps programme: “Community Initiative to Promote Peace.
The CBOs noted that policy making and legislations were some of the major factors inhibiting the advancement of women’s wellbeing.
In her address of welcome, Mrs Fatima Suleiman, the Coordinator of Women Peace and Security Network (WPS), said that in spite of women’s contributions to the society, they were still being marginalised and were not involved in governance.
She urged women to vote for only leaders who would not relegate them and their aspirations.
Suleiman also called for more women participation in politics, saying: “More women in the National Assembly will enable us have more positive decisions and the world be a better place with more women in decision making positions.”
Suleiman said that the aim of the event was to create a platform for women from all professions to discuss the challenges confronting them and proffer action plans that would be implemented in all communities across the state.
Speaking at the event, the National Co-Coordinator, Nigerian Women Mediators Network, Mrs Lantana Abdullahi, expressed displeasure that women were not given key positions in political parties in spite of their intellectual capacities.
She urged women not to be discouraged but to be consistent in making efforts to challenge the status quo, while demanding for accountability from leaders.
Abdullahi said that the refusal of the national assembly to pass the gender bills was an indication of the need to have more gender-friendly leaders and women in governance.
“Women should decide their leaders and vote for people who will improve their welfare and promote their agenda. Nobody will give you the opportunity to make your own decisions until you demand for your right,” she said.
In her remarks, the Women Peace-building Coordinator for Mercy Corps, Ms Mariagoretti Aya ,thanked women for their contributions to the growth and development of the society in spite of their limitations.
According to her, concerted efforts were required to promote their wellbeing.
In her presentation on the impact of climate change on women, a Gender Consultant and former UN Women Coordinator in Plateau, Mrs Sewuese Surma, said that climate change could affect the livelihood of women who were mostly small-holder farmers.
According to her, it also exposes women to insecurity and diseases, urging government to empower small-holder women farmers and pastoralists with sustainable agricultural practices, credit facilities and climate-resilient alternatives.
NAN reports that International Women’s Day is observed globally on March 8 of every year to celebrate the socio- economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while advocating for their wellbeing. (NAN)
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