CAN, JNI, Assures Women Coalition on COVID-19 Response of Full Support

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), have thrown their weight behind Women Coalition on Covid-19 Response, in their effort to ensure the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is properly manage in Kaduna State.

A group of women leaders from government, private sector and civil society organisations had under United Nations Women COVID-19 Response project, came together as a coalition to support the Kaduna State government in its response to the new wave of COVID-19 in Kaduna State. The coalition has 30 women with each of them leading their respective establishments and organisations.

Speaking when the received the women who can to seek for thee support in their offices separately on Wednesday, CAN and JNI, assured the group of their full support.

In his response to their request, Kaduna State Acting Secretary of CAN, Caleb Maaji who received the team on behalf the State Chairman, Joseph Hayab, told the visitors the CAN would do her best to support their effort.

According to him, “having informed us of the composition of the coalition, we believed you will go places because God is with you. We will do our best to support the coalition. We appreciate you for considering it important to be here so we can interface and learn things we need to know.

“We know you are busy people as a coalition and God will reward you because no one can pay you for your services. Anyone that refuses to accept the reality of COVID-19 is living in self denial. As much as we pray for the pandemic to end, we should continue to sensitise people about it. As leaders of CAN, we must continue to preach about this pandemic.

“We pray God keep us safe and alive to see the end of this pandemic. CAN will always be willing to partner with organisations seeming the wellbeing of mankind.”

On his part, Secretary, JNI, Kaduna State, Ibrahim Kufena, said, “I can assure you anytime any day. We have 23 functioning branches across the 23 local government areas if Kaduna State. The fight against pandemic like this one is a collective one and we promise to give it maximum support.

“You have opened our eyes and we are just being reminded. We are to relay the message to our people across the 23 local government areas of the state. When you make the framework and work plan available to us, it will help us to support better at the grassroots.

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has partnered with the UK Government Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office to implement a project on Strengthening state capacities and women’s participation in COVID response and broader peacebuilding initiatives Nigeria. With funding from the UK Government, the programme is being implemented in Bauchi, Plateau and Kaduna State. It is aimed at advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and addressing key gender issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, by supporting state governments to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and enhance women’s participation in leadership and decision-making.

Early in her remarks, Convener of the Coalition and UN Women Consultant, Dr Lydia Umar, said the collaboration with the two religious bodies will increase the trust of the people in what the government is doing especially at the community level since locals believe more in civil society and private sector than they do when it comes to government’s projects.

She noted that the UN women and the coalition of women sees CAN and JNI as very important to get the message across to the majority of people under them.

“COVID-19 has had an impacted on all sector of the economy and the voices of women are being heard in Kaduna State with a female deputy governor and seven out of the 14 commissioners are women, distribution of palliative to poor and vulnerable homes to cushion the effect of the lockdown.

“The state government is doing a lot in this regard, there are needs and concerns of vulnerable groups including old people, children and women. There are still people who are still in self-denial because they have not lost any loved one to COVID-19, but, gender-based violence – sexual violation, domestic violence, rape, we’re on the increase due to the lick down.

“The money the state government spend on those that were infected by the virus would have been used for other developmental projects such as schools, hospitals and roads.

“I’m glad Kaduna state is leading with four assault and referral centres to resolve and mitigate gender-based violence – one in Zaria, two in Kaduna and one in Kafanchan.

“However, more need to be done. We want to see to it that in all the COVID-19 recovery programmes, women and girls are considered.

“We expect CAN and JNI, Kaduna State office to have a presentation during the launch of the framework and work plan as part of activities to commemorate this year’s women day coming up on March 8, 2021. Dr. Lydia added.

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