Nigeria/ECOWAS: Gender training workshop opens in Abuja

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - A three-day National Gender Training Workshop opened in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Tuesday with a consensus by participants that the West African sub-region would gain more if women are properly mainstreamed into governance and decision making.

The workshop, jointly organised by the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre and Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, is to strengthen the capacities of Gender Focal Persons in the areas of gender mainstreaming and analysis.

It is also aimed at contributing meaningfully to the attainment of gender equality in Nigeria in particular, and ECOWAS region at large.

ECOWAS Commissioner of Social Affairs and Gender Fatimata Dia Sow said at the opening that the challenges confronting gender activists, policy makers and implementers in their effort to bring about gender equity and equality in the ECOWAS region were indeed enormous.

“Widespread discrimination against women in various spheres, the low participation of women in the political and economic life of our countries, the feminisation of poverty, the high incidence of violence against women and widespread gender disparities are only some of the challenges that we are faced with,” she said.

She pointed out that the major interventions of the ECOWAS Commission on gender have been informed by recognition that the attainment of gender equity and equality was critical not only for the success of the integration process but also for the sustainable development of the region.

In her introductory remarks, the Director of the ECOWAS Gender Training Centre, Madam Aminatta Dibba, said the Centre had developed a workable Gender Training Tool Kit in its effort to provide ECOWAS member states with a tool for building capacity on gender and development in a comprehensive and sustained manner.

The Tool Kit, she said, was made up of 10 modules that cover a wide range of issues, including basic gender analysis concepts and tools, gender mainstreaming, gender-based violence, biodiversity and climate change, gender-responsive planning and budgeting, gender and citizens’ participation, gender and HIV/AIDS, democracy, peace and security, as well as the international legal and human rights instruments.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development Zainab Maina has used the occasion of the workshop to launch the Nigeria Chapter of the Network of Young Females of West Africa.

The minister said the action was aimed at increasing women’s participation in decision making processes.

She emphasised the need for concerted effort to assist members of the network to consolidate and sustain their determination to set the pace in the transformation of the development process into one that was gender sensitive and took cognizance of the practical and strategic needs of women.
-0- PANA MON/SEG 29April2014

29 Abril 2014 12:46:06

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