July 14, 2024

CSO calls for domestication of national gender policy in Akwa Ibom

A Civil Society Organisation, Kebetkeche Women Resource Development Centre has called for the domestication of the National Gender Policy, NGP, in Akwa Ibom State for effective development in the communities and enhanced gender equality and social inclusion.

The Executive Director of Kebetkeche Center, Dr Emem Okon made the call over the weekend in Ikot Ekpene local government area of the state, during an advocacy dialogue with stakeholders and community leaders supported by MaArthur Foundation and WRAPA on “Gender equality and Social Inclusion.”

Okon represented by the Communications Officer, Nsemeke Fabian Asanga regretted that despite the numerous benefits of the NGP since its enactment in 2006 and review in 2021, it still floats at the national level without being domesticated and implemented at the state and local levels in the state.

Okon explained that the policy, if implemented, would encourage social inclusion and ensure that women, children and people with disability are carried along in the scheme of things in the development process.

She said, “What we are doing is to advocate for the implementation and domestication of the National Gender Policy in the State. So we are here in Ikot Otu in Ikot Ekpene local government to advocate to the community leaders and the people that if this policy is implemented, it will promote gender equality and social inclusion.

“We have also advocated to legislative members even the female legislators of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and we hope that the state will soon adopt it and we will further mainstream it to different local governments in the state.”

Earlier, in her paper entitled, ” Using Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) to Promote Community Development,” the Resource person, Constance Meju noted that community leaders should understand that the world is striving to bridge the inequality gap in society because of its damaging and retrogressive impacts.

Meju harped on the need for community leaders and policymakers to conduct an assessment of the needs of both men and women including the vulnerable and people living with disabilities in society before embarking on any project, programmes or policies to ensure total inclusion and high impact.

While calling for the domestication of NGP in the state, Meju encouraged women to prepare themselves, mentally, socially and psychologically to participate actively and serve in any opportunity that comes up.

She added, “We need more women in Community Development Committees, PIA Community Trust Funds, Youth and Social Organizations Local Government Councils and Committees State and National Assemblies. Women should be involved in healthcare decision-making because women have peculiar health needs and as the womb of society their health status determines the health of the society.”

A female Chief, Obongawan Grace Ukut called for equal rights for both male and female children in the family and communities frowning at situations where preferences were given to the male even as she noted that with NGP in place in her community, such issues would be addressed.

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