From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As part of the plan to consolidate his achievements in women and youth empowerment, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has described gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) as a part of fundamental human rights and not charity as many perceived them to be.
Kaduna under El-Rufai has included more women and young people in his social inclusion drive than any other state in the North and the country as a whole thereby making him the most gender-friendly governor in the current political dispensation in Nigeria.
El-Rufai who spoke through his Commissioner for Human Service and Social Development, Hajiya Hafata Baba during a one-day strategic stakeholder meeting with CSOs, the academia, and MDAs in Kaduna noted that the state was set to review the Kaduna Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (KADGESI) policy document in such a way that the incoming administration will be able I build on it
According to the commissioner, “we have been looking forward to reviewing the KADGESI document across the sectors. Since its formulation in 2017, new issues that touch on everyone have since emerged and there is a need to factor them in moving forward. We see gender equity and social inclusion as right issues, not charity.
“As a government, we have achieved so much in terms of social inclusion across the sectors. Currently, Kaduna State is leading when it comes to women’s inclusion. The Governor El-Rufai-led government is the most inclusive in Nigeria considering the size of women’s representation in government.
“We like to consolidate this achievement by reviewing the KADGESI policy to create more spaces for women, youth and persons with disability. We are deploying a rights-based approach to the review”, she said.
While thanking Rise Up and Public Health Institute for providing support for the project, university dons, Professor Hauwa Yusuf, of Gender Unit, Kaduna State University and Professor Eugenia Akpa of the Gender Policy Unit, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria noted that, the review was timely and expected to open up opportunities for all across different sectors in the state.
On her part, one of the technical team leads, Ms Hannatu Ahuwan of Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women (LANW) stated that the review would prove instrumental in combating crime and insecurity in the state quickly added that peace and security remain pre-requisite for development.
A Rise Fellow, Victor Osae Ihidero thanked the state government and collaborating CSOs and academia on the GESI review noting that “Kaduna State under Governor El-Rufai has 49% women representation making it the most inclusive government in Nigeria”.
He however charged the technical review team to “study the KADGESI policy; do a situation analysis across the sectors, identify areas to be reviewed and develop an implementation strategy for sustainability”.