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COVID 19: IANSA calls for inclusion of women in decision making

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Maureen Okpe

The International Action Network on Small Arms(IANSA) a Nigeria women based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has called for the inclusion of women in crucial decision making in the nation, especially in this period of Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator Ms Mimidoo Achakpa in Abuja, stressed that the reason for the setup of government machineries such as Ministries, Department and Agencies for women at the highest level since the Beijing Conference of 1986 was to adequately respond to women issues as well as promote achievable goals.

According to the statement, assisting and enabling the nation to meet the
needs of all her female population is the rationale for setting up the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

Regrettably this has not been adequately harnessed as the ministry is sometime excluded in activities of governance.

The statement further explained that “Involving the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs is not for show or to placate. Women’s engagement and development should be understood as an auspicious need to marshall half of the Nigerian population at this critical time of the Covid-19 health pandemic.

“The Ministry is not a figure head or lame entity that exists purely for rhetorics that women are included in government processes and government need to be advised and reminded of this neglect of a very important sector: WOMEN.”

“Women are not a homogeneous group neither are they all vulnerable and indigent persons.There are women in every strata of society and they all have differential needs.

The statement described the Ministry as a structured organ of government which should be used as an appropriate and professional means to reflect and respond to women priorities and concerns.

Stating also that It is important to protect their dignity,uphold their basic human rights and
meet globally accepted standards and protocols except the government is of the opinion that the ministry is not important.

“Is the federal government saying indirectly that there is no role for the very institution (MWA) set up to articulate women’s needs and set up standards of acceptable professional services to different categories of women in all the different sectors of the economy?” It stressed in rhetoric.

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