From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Following the Stakeholders meeting held in December 2020 towards reviewing the level of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in Kaduna State, the outcome of that meeting was on Friday validated ahead of public presentation.
25 years ago precisely in 1995, the Beijing declaration popularly called Beijing platform for action was developed at the fourth World Conference on Women in China, a multi-stakeholders’ meeting comprised of civil society groups and top government officials where 12 thematic areas were captured for action.
That platform for action was adopted by 189 governments including Nigeria where they promised commitment to taking strategic, bold action in 12 critical areas of concern which are poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child.
In an interview with the newsmen, Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Kaduna State University (KASU), Professor Hauwawu Evelyn Yusuf, who facilitated the review meeting observed that, though Kaduna State has done well in some areas, there was the need for improvement on the steps so far taken towards the implementation of the action plan.
“Today’s meeting is a stakeholder meeting to share a report from a previous meeting where we have discussions around the 12 thematic areas of the Beijing Plus 25 questionnaire.
“We are doing this because it is important to share this report with the people that have contributed to it earlier. Kaduna State has faired in implementing that Beijing agreement held 25 years ago.
“At the end of the day based on the recommendation that will follow, it will enhance policies formation, implementation and interventions that will come to the State.
“The report is also highlighting areas of challenge, areas of action needed to fully do the right thing with regards to gender equity and gender equality. We see this as an opportunity to showcase the actual state of Kaduna State 25 years after the Beijing conference.
“So far so good, Kaduna State has done well as far as gender equity and gender equality are concern as evident in policies and actions that have been made. But then, there are rooms for improvement on those policies and actions.
The convener, Executive Director, Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) believed that, for Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole to attain sustainable development target, there must be deliberate efforts to get women and girls onboard.
She said, “now, that we have validated our findings, we have noticed that there are some gaps like data and other information we need to source and add to this document before it is presented to critical stakeholders.
“On the average, Kaduna State has performed well in some areas. If you look at the area of violence and women, you will see that we have recent laws and policies geared towards addressing violence against women and children.
“When you come to the area of health and women, there is an improvement in the facilities, increased budget and recruitment. It may not be up to what we want to see but then, we can continue from there.
But like in women and environment, we need to see women participating very well in this area and trackable interventions that are directed at women”, she said.