IWD: Ebonyi USAID State2state, others Harps on Gender Inclusiveness

By Israel Mbam

Panelists at a program organized to mark the 2022 International Women's Day celebration by the Ebonyi State USAID State2State activity have called for break in barriers to women equal participation in politics and governance in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event held on Tuesday 8th March, 2022 at Osborn La Palm Hotels Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, the former Commissioner for Women Affairs, Chief Mrs. Ugo Nnachi, the  Executive Director of Public Enlightenment Program, Mrs. Lilian Ezeuwa, Executive Director of Neighborhood environment watch foundation, Dr. Kelechukwu Okezie identified intimidation, low esteem and lack of financial resources as major barriers to women equal participation in politics. They challenged women to believe in themselves, come together using their numbers to prove that they have all it takes to perform like their men counterparts.

The panelists emphasized that with great accomplishments of women who had occupied sensitive positions, women if supported will play active role in governance and capacity building for others.

Discussing on the theme of the year's event which was "Break the Bias" the participants stressed on the need for women to believe in themselves, set achievable goals for themselves, show interest in governance and as well build the needed capacity to make positive impact in their families and society.

Earlier in their remarks, the Ebonyi State team lead for USAID State2State, Barr. Sam Onyia, the capacity building Specialist, Mr. Ibiam Azu and the Gender and inclusive Specialist, Ms Ejiro Okotie congratulated Women all over the world and said the event was organized to further create awareness and reinforce commitment of government, MDAs, CSOs and traditional leaders to fight stereotypes and barriers that hinder women voice and participation in governance. They added that the program was to also develop an action plan for breaking the bias and active involvement of women in inclusive development.

There were paper presentation on Breaking Bias: the need for Gender Equality for Sustainable Tommorw ", Women and Public Financial Management: Implication for Governance and Development. Others were panel discussions and on proffering solutions for breaking the bias of women participation in governance among others.

Participants were drawn from women groups, FIDA, CSOs, Media, and women leaders in the State who participated in various activities at the event.

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