A Kaduna-based NGO, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), on Thursday began a three-day training for women on civic rights and how to actively participate in decision making and politics.
Mss Grace Attah, EWEI’s Organisational Development and Learning Officer, explained at the opening of the training in Kaduna that the training was under NGO’s Civic Education and Participation for Women Project (CEPWOP).
According to her, the measure was part of EWEI efforts toward mobilising women to be active participants in political process to avoid being schemed out of critical decisions that affects them in their various communities.
Attah pointed out that only 2.3 per cent out of the 2,088 candidates in the 2011 election in North West were women.
“In North East, they were 4.2 per cent, North Central 8.5 per cent, it was 15.5 per cent in South West.
“These disturbing indices has not change much during the 2015 general elections. 2019 is fast approaching and our women are still far behind as indicated in the result of political parties’ primary election,” she said.
She explained that the training was organised to address the under-representation of women and excluded groups in the political space from the grassroots to the national level.
“The goal is to encourage civic participation of girls and women to contribute to political and legislative process.
“We have reached out more than 2,584 women and girls as at 2017 and planned to reached out to as many women as possible by the end of 2018,” she said.
One of the resource person, Prof Julius Gwani expressed worry that women were still left behind in elective positions even when they are the ones that mobilise voters.
Gwani pointed out that d that even in political parties, the only position given to women were treasurers and women leaders.
According to him, the men, is allowed would even take over the position of the women leader.
Also, Mr Joseph Ioerse, an official of the NGO stressed the need for community members to have inputs on how their community development policies are designed and implemented.
According to him, every community member, particularly girls and women should be given a chance to lead if wiling and demonstrated ability to do so.
Similarly, Mrs. Emelda Yashim, another resource person said that men must desist from reducing women’s role to only being a house wives and cooks.
“Men must treat women as equal partners and stop using them to achieve their political ambitions and dumps them when the ambition is achieved,” Yashim warned.
Earlier, the NGO’s Finance and Supplies officer, Mss Bilkisu Gwabin, said that EWEI’s mission was to provide a multi-sectoral intervention towards empowerment of girls and women through enlightenment, capacity building and community service.
Gwabin said that the NGO has over the years been inspiring girls and women through capacity building and mentoring.