To ensure women are empowered to contribute meaningfully to national development, the Edo State Government has said it has set up structures and programmes to ensure women are given the opportunity to take active roles in politics and governance.
Speaking at a four-day training workshop tagged ‘Peace and Confidence Building for Women Leaders’ in Auchi, Edo State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon (Mrs.) Magdalene Ohenhen charged participants to overcome their doubts about taking active roles in governance as it was only through such opportunities that they can change policies and perceptions that hold women down.
The four-day training workshop organised by The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Nigeria) and supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
Ohenhen explained that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has instituted gender-friendly policies to complement the organisation’s objectives in enhancing capacity for women in rural areas.
She noted, “The training workshop is apt as it will build the confidence of women to contribute to the nation building and development. It will also prepare them for the World Bank-sponsored Nigeria for Women Project which will benefit 54,000 women in the state.
“Women must grow beyond the slogan, ‘you neglect a woman, you lose an election’ and take the bold step to occupy the front seat in politics,” she stressed.
According to her, “The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it. Action is the key. It is on this note I want to shower encomium on WANEP and NORAD for a well-thought-out training workshop and also to urge all participants to make the most of the opportunity, so as to step it down to targeted stakeholders groups in the state.”
National Network Coordinator of WANEP-Nigeria, Chief (Mrs) Bridget Osakue, said the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) provides an organised platform for collaborative peacebuilding by indigenous (NGOs) in conflict transformation and development in Nigeria.
“Our thematic areas are conflict prevention, women in peacebuilding, active non- violence and peace education, democracy and good governance as well as research and documentation. Women must key into programmes that are essential to building relationships and peace because women have a lot to contribute to society,” she said.
Executive Director, Global Women for Quality and Sustainable Development Initiative, Amb. Chief Marian Kadiri-Ezolome, said her organisation is collaborating with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to step down the training workshop across the 18 local government areas in the state.