Kaduna: Gender Equality Matters In Covid-19 Response, UN Women Launches Coalition 

By Lola Seriki- Idahosa, Kaduna

Trace Reporters –The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, (UN Women) in partnership with the UK Government has launched the Women’s Coalition and presentation of its collaborative framework on Covid-19 response and recovery efforts in Kaduna state.

This will also strengthening the capacities and women’s participation in covid-19 response and broader peace building initiatives.

The Coalition which was launched in Karina on Thursday had membership drawn from state and non- state actors from the state government, Civil societies organizations, private sector and women organizations among others

 In his keynote address the UN Women Deputy Country Representative,  Mr. Lansana Wonneh said the kaduna has done very well by involving women.

According to him, “If you look at the Intervention and prevention of the COVID-19, Kaduna has done well. If you look at countries headed by women, the impact of COVID-19 has been minimal.

“If we have women on Leadership positions, the better we can be. The more we have women in position, the more prosperous that nation or community can be,” he said.

He explained that Kaduna State is one of the most gender sensitive states in the country.

Speaking further, he said that UN Women is committed to ensuring women are empowered because when they are empowered, there is a multiplying effect.

Wonneh stressed that there is the need to end cases of gender based violence in Nigeria, charging men to take responsibility in ending it.

He wondered why micro and small enterprises are majorly controlled by women, while the bigger ones are run by men, assuring that UN Women is committed to ending the imbalance.
He said like other pandemic’s, women are more affected by COVID-19 impact, citing gender based violence as one of those that affected women.

Wonneh added that as a result of the lockdown following COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of women who mainly do their businesses by road sides, lost their capital.

He congratulated Kaduna State for setting an example with a woman as the head of the COVID-19 taskforce.

He advised that younger women should be included in decision making process.
“There is need for gender inclusiveness in Parliament and other key sectors. Nigeria is the least in terms of empowering women. Women in Nigeria hold only five per cent in terms of lawmakers in Nigeria, despite having about 50 per cent of the population,” he pointed out.

He called on the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai whom he said  has done well, to influence other governors and by extension the Federal Government to give women more opportunities.

“To women, it is only when you see yourselves as one Constituency that you can make the desired impact,” he advise.

In her address, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe said Women in Kaduna State have demonstrated that they are capable of holding decision making positions.

According to her, “Our Government in Kaduna believes in this and has demonstrated that women are capable of holding high and sensitive decision-making positions,” she said.

Represented by her SA on Legal Matters,   Barrister Rabi Adamu Musa-Manchi, she described the launch of the coalition as a welcome development.

“The birth of this organisation will, doubtlessly, advance the ongoing campaign to give women the place they deserve in leadership and decision-making positions.

“On a global scale, concerns on the plight of women and girls are gaining ascendency and eliciting significant responses that are changing the landscape.

“Both states and non-state actors are uniting in voicing out support towards ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, advocating for their equal rights and advancing their political, economic and social empowerment,” she added.

She acknowledged the  efforts of the members of the coalition for the response of the new wave of COVID 19 in Kaduna State.

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