NIGERIA- As part of its efforts to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has advocated for greater participation of women in politics and agriculture.
The statement was made by Dr Osasiyi Dirisu, Deputy Director of Policy Innovation Centre, NESG, at a press conference on the maiden edition of the Policy Innovation Centre (PIC) Gender and Inclusion Summit (GS-22) in Abuja.
According to Dirisu, women’s involvement in politics and agriculture would aid in achieving the SDGs.
As part of the summit on Nov. 16, she said, transformative ways would be explored to enhance inclusion, equity, and promote gender-responsive governance.
“We recognise that women are underrepresented in politics and we have dedicated a whole track to ensure that conversation is in the summit,” she said.
According to her, in order for women to participate meaningfully in politics, there needs to be a shift in mentality, barriers removed, and support provided to facilitate their involvement.
“What we are going to do is begin to have those conversations, identify where the barriers are and then work closely because you see, sometimes we do programming without evidence and that is why those programmes fail.
“So what is the evidence around what is keeping them from engaging within the political system? We need to begin to identify that, put it together, look at what policy strategies can help.
“That is why one of our goals is improving gender responsive governance, if we don’t have that in place, we cannot build on that foundation, or begin to talk about political participation of women in politics,” she said.
According to the group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), LaoyeJaiyeola, unequal treatment on the basis of gender also disproportionately affects women.
It is because of inadequate funding and support that women are underrepresented in agriculture, according to Jaiyeola.
“The fact of the case is that when it comes to all the value addition and all the things that have much more announcements and ratings, women are not involved.
“This is because assess to finances is not there and a couple of others.
“So as a nation, if we really boost the involvement of gender and make it become more inclusive, it will show that this economy is going to do a lot better for all of us,” he said
Nevertheless, he praised the Nigerian government’s efforts to improve gender inclusion with policies such as the National Gender Policy and the National Gender Action Plan (NGAP).