Gender Equity and Social Inclusion: Kaduna State emerges overall best in Northern Nigeria
By Habila Victor, Kaduna
Considering its many policies and laws that promotes equity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all, the Governor Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai led administration has emerged as the overall best in gender equity and social inclusion in northern Nigeria and second in the entire country.
This was made known during a two-day consultative meeting and capacity building workshop organized by Women Connect Initiative (WCI) and the Gender Policy Unit of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria with support from RiseUp.
While presenting the research finding during the meeting, Timothy Elisha, A RiseUp Fellow noted that Kaduna State is the most sensitive in terms of its distribution of resources and opportunities across the different sectors noting that women in the state are better positioned to achieve their potentials under the current administration.
“Before now, Kaduna State had a long history of poor female representation both at elective and appointive positions across the arms of government. From our study, the state has had less than 16 women representation into elective position within the last 20 years and this record has been the best in the entire region;
“However, since the swearing in of the Governor El-Rufai’s government, women have been adequately represented in appointive positions across diverse sectors in the state making Kaduna State the second best after Lagos State” he said.
While commending the efforts of the Kaduna State Government in this feat, Professor Muhammad Kabir Isa of the Department of Local Government and Policy Development A.B.U Zaria noted that the current achievements should be sustained by the Governor El-Rufai led government through the review of the Kaduna State Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (KADGESI) policy.
“Indeed, Kaduna State is the only state in northern Nigeria with a gender equity and social inclusion policy. This makes the governor the most gender-friendly governor in our region.
“To consolidate the gains of this government in terms of gender equity, there is an urgent need to review the KADGESI policy to cater for new challenges debilitating women’s participation in politics, health and education in the state” he said.
On her part, the Coordinator of Gender Policy Unit, A.B.U Zaria Prof. Eugenia Akpa commended the Kaduna State government for putting relevant policy structures and laws to create equal opportunities for both men and women in the state saying that the state within the next eight to ten years will begin to reap the benefits of empowering women.
“Kaduna needs to strengthen its KADGESI policy by reviewing the key strategic areas of the policy. Within the next 8 to 10 years, Kaduna women is projected to occupy at least 25% elective positions in governance while also lead the health and education sector”, she said.
While calling on Kaduna Civil Society Organizations to join hands with the State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development to commit resources to review KADGESI, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika, Program Director of Women Connect Initiative (WCI) stated that one of the best ways to ensure that women continue to enjoy recognition in government is for Kaduna CS to work with government to better policies where they are lacking and to support government efforts in making Kaduna great.