By Ene Oshaba
Girls Get Equal (GGE) in collaboration with Activista Nigeria has tasked the various political parties’ Candidates on the need to prioritize girls’ realities young women and youths by creating an agenda on internet and digital rights, as well as ensure access and safety in the internet space.
The group also tasked all the political parties to ensure that rights to education will be included as fundamental rights in Nigeria.
Communications Liaison of
GGE, Angela Omale, made the call in Abuja during a press briefing on the 2023 elections and participation of girls and young people, stressing the need for the development of a gender-sensitive education agenda in the country.
Omale called for the development of an educational plan that will encapsulate the reality of the humanitarian context in North East Nigeria and also integrate gender transformative education agenda in the region.
According to her, a holistic Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights plan which will take into consideration the rights of adolescent, girls, young women and youths is pertinent as new administration takes over soon.
“We as girls, young women and youths are now ready than ever to commit to the system through ballot. We can no longer wait. The time to awaken the spirit of greatness in the giant of Africa is now.
“As a group of resilient Nigerians filled with energy to lead innovative transformation, we are concerned about the patriarchal nature of society in undermining the socio-political, cultural and economic rights of young women as they are continuously marginalized,” she said.
“In addressing the problems identified as one the major factors affecting girls, young women and youths in the development process. We conducted an online survey primarily among young people from 18 to 39.
“The respondent placed the following as priorities: Education, Health, Economic Empowerment and Internet/ Digital rights,” she added.
She noted that while political parties commit to education growth and development and growth in the country, with specification as to the steps of the development, all the political parties fail to include ensuring that rights to education will be included as fundamental rights in Nigeria.
Omale added that none of the political parties considered the humanitarian context and areas of the country and have it as an agenda in its manifesto to ensure that young people can attend school and develop even in the humanitarian sector.
“The People Democratic Party (PDP), recognized giving health access through health insurance and increasing government dedication to providing primary health care facilities across Nigeria, the NNPP further committed to providing training and capacity building for medical practitioners.
“These positions are aligned with that of APC and LP, while NNPP and PDP goes further to include HIVAIDS in it health focus, the AAC further shifts into recognizing Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, the party’s presidential candidate however streams the SRHR position to legalization of abortion,” she said.
She however worried that none of the political parties were gender-sensitive in their manifesto, and therefore tasked them on the need to prioritize gender needs to enable all live meaningful lives.
“While these are commendable, the political parties are not gender considerate, there was no focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), this falls within SRHR and is also one of the barriers affecting girl child education.Internet and Digital Rights:
“No political candidate or party manifesto is committed to ensuring internet rights, access and safety,” she noted.