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Women Groups Hold Symposium To Mark International Women's Day

Women groups hold Symposium to mark international women’s Day 

By Catherin Agbo:

 

As part of activities to commemorate the International Women’s Day 2018, a non-governmental organisation, Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative (CLHEI), is partnering with the Association of Aliwe Daughters International to carry out political sensitization of women to encourage participation in politics and the electoral process in Benue State, come 2019.

According to a statement by the organizers, the symposium is being held in realization of the fact that though women constitute slightly more than half of the world’s population, and their contribution to the social and economic development of societies is more than half, compared to that of men by virtue of their dual roles in the productive and responsive spheres, their participation in formal political structures and processes, where decisions are made regarding the use of societal resources generated by both men and women, remains insignificant.

“Presently, women’s representation in legislatures around the world is 15 per cent. Benue State in particular is affected by this gender parity; the current administration does not have a representation of the 13% Beijing affirmative action for women. Furthermore, political participation of women in the state is very low as a result of the lack of information. For example, in the current administration, there are only two female commissioners out of thirteen,” the statement read.

The organizers further stated that the aim of the symposium, with the theme Press for Progress, is to empower women to understand their rights and roles in the electoral process, educate women on their civic and human rights, change the narrative on the role of women in society and leadership and to challenge women to register and get the Personal Voters Card (PVC) and rally other women in their communities to campaign and vote.

“This event will provide political information and sensitise women in Benue and its environs on the need for political participation in the forth coming elections, to enable them elect the right leaders into leadership positions and also to contest for leadership positions. The event will attempt to investigate the conceptual and material basis of women’s historic exclusion from the formal arena; and analyse strategies adopted around the world to promote women’s conditions to enable them demand their rights from the government,” it added.

“Society needs to change the narrative on women and their roles in society and leadership. As a result, women have to be in forefront of the fight and press for this change by standing up for their social, economic, cultural and political rights.”

It further added that the symposium is targeted at women in rural and urban areas across political platforms, religious divide, women community and professional associations, among others.

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