The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) organize a workshop cum launching of Gender Mainstreaming in Governance and FakaEDU software. The workshop with the theme; “Do the right thing: mainstream gender in governance for national transformation” was to discuss way to raise women involvement in politics and governance generally, while the other arm of the event was the launch of a software developed by a staff of NOA, Mr. Edward Samuel and named FakaEDU, are the first lady, Dame Patience Faka Jonathan.
Before now the government under President Goodluck Jonathan instituted 35 percent affirmative action for women’s participation in politics. The current call is for women to enjoy 50-50 representation in governance. This call stems from the fact that women constitute over 50% percent of the country’s population as attested to by survey from some agencies.
The Director-General, NCWD Lady Onyeka Onwenu said there can be no development without women. She said democracy is about fair representation of all interest groups in the society and the low representation of women is a violation of the principle of democracy. She advised women not to vote for anybody who does not have any clear agenda on improving the lots of women. Onwenu said the inclusion and mainstreaming of gender in party constitutions and manifestoes can be an important tool for encouraging women to participate actively in politics.
Her Royal Majesty, Obi Martha Dunkwa- Omu Anioma, Delta State, told the audience that it was high time the country emulated what her kingdom in Delta State, have been doing for over 700years. According to her, there is a stool created for a lady in the kingdom who handles women matters. She was of the opinion that a man was to complete, hence the creation of woman by the Creator. She advised women to stop discriminating against themselves right from the family. She said a male child should not be allowed to go to play football while the girl is forced to work in the kitchen. Speaking further, the Public Relation consultant to His Royal Majesty-The Oba of Benin- enjoined women to be bold enough in order to win the support of the male folk.
Declaring open the forum and launching the Fakaedu software, Dame Patience Jonathan said she hoped that a woman will one day become the president of Nigeria. She said women are effective leaders, and home makers and mainstreaming women in governance and national development must be given priority attention. She said she also hoped the affirmative action will be entrenched in Nigerian constitution. She concluded her speech by saying: “The women have said it, they can do it, please carry them along.”
In another development a stakeholder in women empowerment, Mrs. Ene Ede, the Executive Director of Equity Advocate, told newsmen not to give undue publicity to politicians who are out to deceive the populace. She revealed that most them quarrel in the public and yet allow their children to intermarry. She is not happy that the journalist, who more relevant in democracy than an average politician, is not well taken care, irrespective of the risky nature of their job. She therefore enjoined journalists to expose the activities of bad leaders.