By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Kawuwa Shehu Damina has promised to come up with a legislation that would provide equal representation of women in governance and access to education at all times
Kawuwa Damina stated this when he received a delegation of 14 state branches of High Level Women Advocate (HILWA) at the Assembly Complex in Bauchi.
HILWA is a non-governmental pressure group established and funded by UNICEF to carry out advocacy and sensitization to provide access to quality education, health and environmentally friendly attitudes that would improve hygiene in the society.
The Speaker, who personally promised to present the bill, said he has been an advocate of women access to quality education, health, and good nutrition throughout his career in politics and governance.
He however said equal access and opportunity does not necessarily mean equality in terms of representation in decision making, saying women must rise above cultural and historical inhibitions to achieve greater recognition for themselves.
The Speaker therefore urged them to join politics as they have excelled in other careers, they shouldn’t allow politics to be in the hands of societal misfits but rather join the struggle to reshape their communities.
Kawuwa also enjoined them to increase the frequency of their activities from headquarters to local communities as the bulk of their problems lay in the rural areas where advocacy is needed to educate them about the necessities of life.
Earlier the state chairperson of the HILWA Mrs. Lydia Shehu has expressed appreciation to the speaker and the government of the state for the support and cooperation rendered to the group since the beginning of their program and urged them to keep it up.
She noted that for long women have played the second fiddle in the society especially in decision making and urged the speaker to assist the women achieve better performance in politics and governance.
The Education specialist, Mrs. Maryam Abubakar Dikwa has decried the low level of women enrollment and retention in schools as well as transition to higher echelon of the society due to lack of necessary support from the male and government.
Mrs. Maryam also noted the inadequate number of toilets in schools, sources of good water and poor ratio of pupils’ par classroom, saying it affects teaching and learning process in schools.
She however acknowledged tremendous improvement since the inception of the program pointing out that about 2000 teachers on leadership and lesson planning 4691 on school record keeping and 1417 others were placed on Female Teacher Training Scholarship among others.
Mrs. Abubakar therefore urged the members to increase budgetary allocations to the education sector, ensure prompt releases and no diversion of the capital releases as well as pass a law requiring for 40 percent space for women in leaderships and governance.
Hon Maryam Garba Bagel the chairperson women affairs Committee of the Assembly and former state chairperson of HILWA has recognized the enormous contributions of the group towards ensuring a better living for the women folks.
According to the female lawmaker, she resigned because the rigors of her office would not allow her to put in her best to champion the course of the group.