Following the inclusiveness of a good number of women and youths in governance under Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Women Connect Initiative (WCI) and Gender Policy Unit (GPU), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with support from RiseUp are calling on the governor to put a structure in place that would guarantee his all-inclusive governance drive by review the state’s Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy (KADGESI).
IN 2017, Governor El-Rufai led administration envisioned a state where women, children, young people and persons with disabilities and all socially excluded groups enjoy equitable opportunities and are protected from violence and then put GESI policy in place to help realise this vision.
Since that time, El-Rufai has demonstrated that it is possible to have women and youths at the decision-making level by way of having a female deputy joint ticket, about six female commissioners and others as heads of agencies – making him the first governor to do so in northern Nigeria and second in the whole country after Lagos state.
It was against this background that the above-mentioned groups organised a 2-day capacity strengthening workshop for media executives in Kaduna State to help drive advocacy for the amendment of the KADGESI policy through precision reportage of this interest.
Speaking at the sideline of the workshop held at popular Arewa House in Kaduna between November 18-19, Coordinator, Advocacy for Review of KADGESI, Victor Ihidero, described the advocacy as “imperative” because Kaduna State under this political dispensation has done so much when it comes to social inclusion.
“The government of Governor El-Rufai has proven to be the most gender-sensitive governor in northern Nigeria and we don’t want to take that for granted. As a result, we are looking at the possibility of reviewing the KADGESI policy especially to put an implementation of gender equity in a structure for continuity.
“We are looking at this administration to put that structure in place that will allow women to run for elective offices. We want a document that will consolidate the achievements of Governor El-Rufai so that by the time he leaves office, anyone coming up can see that there is a working document for him to follow”, Ihidero noted.
Director, Gender Policy Unit and Head, Department of Sociology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Dr Mrs Eugenia Chika Akpa noted that several good policies are left in papers without implementation while in some cases there is partial implementation.
To her, “Kaduna State is doing well because it has a woman as deputy governor and others in appointive positions. We are talking of including everybody – the men, the women, the youth, the people with disabilities in governance so each plays their unique role to have inclusive governance”, she said.
Program Director, WCI, Hajiya Murjanatu Sulieman Shika, noted that the meeting was capture some identified gaps in the existing GESI policy which made it obsolete, “and that is why we are bringing critical stakeholders together including journalists to put our voices together to have this policy reviewed and implemented and once that is done, the right of women can be brought to bare in the interest of all of us”.
One of the resource persons at the workshop and Executive Director, Africa Media Development Foundation, Iliya Kure told participants to use their respective platforms to advocate for improvement on GESI policy and space in Kaduna state.
“We are here to sensitise and train media practitioners on how to use their respective media platforms available to them to advocate for improvement in the GESI policy and space in Kaduna State.
“Journalists need to call for a review of this policy which is obsolete because there number of things that need to be captured in the policy. We also train the media on how to call for putting a structure in place that can help in the implementation of the GESI policy and to pay attention to the call for the government to allocate resources and funding for the implementation of the policy in the state”, the media executive said.
On her part, representative of Vision Trust Foundation, Hajiya Amina Kasaure said “it is important that when you start something good as a governor, there should be a law that will back it so that subsequent governors can build on it. For Kaduna state, we know that the current governor is doing very well in terms of gender inclusion which we want to continue.
“This is why we are supporting the advocacy the o out law in place to back what our governor is doing otherwise we may go back to where we were before.
“In this administration, we have seen a lot of women delivering their expected responsibilities. For this to continue, GESIS policy should be reviewed before the end of this administration for continuity”, she concluded.