Charity Nwakaudu Abuja
IANSA Women Network Nigeria, a women based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has expressed deep concerns over the continuous non inclusion of women in the key decision-making tables particularly in this critical era of the Coronavirus otherwise called Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement signed in Abuja by its National Coordinator Mimidoo Achakpa, noted the failure of all sectoral Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) to adequately respond to women’s issues and achieve agreeable targets to why the federal government set up machineries for women at the highest level since the Beijing Conference of 1986.
The statement added that assisting and enabling the nation to meet the needs of all her female population is the rationale for setting up the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
It however regreted that the effective harnessing of the nation’s human capital resource located in women: a major responsibility of the Fed Ministry of Women Affairs is not adequately utilized.
“Is the federal goverent saying indirectly that there is no role for the very institution (MWA) set up to articulate women’s needs and set up standards of acceptable professional services to different categories of women in all the different sectors of the economy?” the statement queried.
“Women are not a homogeneous group neither are they all vulnerable and indigent persons.There are women in every strata of society and they all have differential needs.
“Involving the Fed Ministry of Women Affairs is not for show or to placate. Women’s engagement and development should be understood as an auspicious need to marshall half of the Nigerian population at this critical time of the Covid-19 health pandemic,” it stressed.
The statement further described the Ministry as a structured organ of government which should be used as an appropriate and professional means to reflect and respond to women priorities and concerns.
“It is important to protect their dignity; uphold their basic human rights and
meet globally accepted standards and protocols,” the statement noted.
“The Ministry is not a figure head or lame entity that exists purely for rhetorics that women are included in government processes and government need to be advised and reminded of this neglect of a very important sector: WOMEN.”