Executive Director, Women and Youth Awareness Empowerment Network (WOYAEN), Dr. Mrs. Rukiya U. Shonekan
By Lola Seriki-Idahosa, kaduna.. Trace Reporters –Executive Director, Women and Youth Awareness Empowerment Network (WOYAEN), Dr. Mrs. Rukiya U. Shonekan has said the nation’s parliament needs to be more deliberate and aggressive in pushing for gender, youth and People With Disability responsive policies in the country.
She said this on Thursday in kaduna at a media round table/project dissemination meeting of the community action for social inclusiveness in politics and political leadership (CASIP) an adoption of the We-You pro initiative by ActionAID Nigeria with Funding from UKaid, held at the National Library, Bida road, kaduna, with theme: Hope, Action and Progress for women and Youth in politics.
Dr. Rukiya at the event also said that laws can be put in place and express disappointment over the just concluded primary held throughout the country.
According to her, this will further raise and increase consciousness about youth, women and PWDs issues and help ease many of the barriers against participation in politics and elections.
She said that while many of the qualities that promote leader emergence have to do with personality traits which are enduring behavioral qualities, there is no doubt that youths and women will benefit immensely from skills training to improve their sensitivity, consciousness, behavioral disposition and readiness to engage in meaningful interactions that will enhance their emergence into salient political positions.
“There is a need to identify successful, well-respected and charismatic female and young leaders who have strong referent power to showcase as models of successful ‘Nigerian leaders’ and not just as ‘young’ or ‘female’ leaders only,” she said.
She said WOYAEN was established in 2005 and has been actively involved in social development work, with vision to see a society where every girl, boy, woman and man irrespective of their challenge is valued, empowered and invested in to succeed.
According to her, ‘Our mission is to advocate for, and promote good governance, human rights, equal opportunities and an inclusive society, our activities target women, youth and persons with disabilities’.
In his presentation, the program manager of CASIP, WOYAEN, Mr. Ime Thomas highlights the project achievement,
He said alot of advocacy meeting was made to Chikun communities where awareness was carried out on different occasion on the need for the women, youths and PWD to get their voters cards.
According to him, their challenges include, ‘voters aperty, security issues, unfulfilled promises, ethno religious biases, shorttime frame for implementation, reports of registration officials charging registration fees’.
He however call for gender equality, promote conversation, make personal advocacy and Do-No-Harm.
He said there is no way a country can be run in a democratic society successfully without involving women and youth. We are talking about getting some level of inclusiveness in governance processes.
The Program Manager said CASIP, WOYAEN has elaborated strategies on how to achieve these and involving women in all government processes and it will yield positive outcomes,”
In her presentation, Representative of Kaduna state Resident Electoral Commission (INEC) Rukayyatu Sani Imam, Head of Unit, Voters Education commended the organizers of the event and advise the public not to do double registration adding that over 197,000 voters cards yet to be collected from INEC office since 2005.
On the issue of vote buying, she said there’s nothing INEC can do about it.
Also in her presentation, ‘Emergence of Women Political Aspirants:The State of Affairs towards 2023 Elections’ project coordinator, LANW Mrs. Hanatu Ahuwan said women, youths and PWD has the right to participate, and be voted for.
She said there’s need for enabling environment for women to strive in politics adding that unless there’s conscious effort to put women and unless we want women there, they will still not be there, the problem will still remain the same.
Others at the event include youth representative, women representative, PWDs representative, traditional leaders.
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