From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As the senate committee on the constitution amendment began a 2-day zonal public hearing, the coalition of women leaders in Kaduna State in collaboration with UN Women on Wednesday advocated for an increase of women’s rights especially in political leadership to enhance the participation of women in governance.
The coalition also called on the representatives of the committee who is currently meeting in Kaduna to be conscious of inclusive language as they amend the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Speaking at a media round table on constitutional review public hearing at a hotel in Kaduna, Commissioner, Human Services and Social Development (HSSD), Hajiya Hafsat Baba, noted that the role of women in governance cannot be overemphasised, hence, the need to amend the constitution in such way that it will improve the chances of women in governance.
Represented by the Director, Youth Department, HSSD, Hajiya Maryam Muazu, the commissioner noted that, the role of women in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, was enough to show women are capable of turning things around for the good of the country.
‘The coalition among others wants gender and sensitive language in the constitution as opposed to the current masculine languages which are gender-biased and undermine women and girls’ political participation.
‘As we all know, Kaduna is the only state in the North West with a female deputy governor, about seven female commissioners and female heads of agencies and parastatal put at about 40 percent affirmation which we want to see across the country,’ she noted.
Earlier in her welcome address, a member of the coalition who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Marshal Star Services Limited, Dr Emilia F Csaszar, sought media practitioners interest in supporting the coalition’s calls on the national assembly to substitute some sections of the constitution in favour of women political participation.
The coalition as supported by the UN Women drew its membership from government, civil society and business with a focus on response to COVID-19 and other sundry issues that affect women and children.