Electoral Act: National Gender Policy can’t be implemented if not domesticated, says women’s group

Women rights groups, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), have said National Gender Policy (NGP) could not be implemented in Nigeria if it remained at the national level, adding that if not domesticated at state and local levels, the policy would remain a sham.
  
Speaking during a capacity building, training of gender equality and social inclusion for Wards Councilors, FaithBased/Community leaders, in Port Harcourt, Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Emem Okon, charged various state governments to implement the NGP in all states, stressing that it will add credibility to the electoral process.
  

Okon noted that the reason for the sensitisation was to highlight the connection between corruption and lack of electoral integrity and accountability, arguing that women are being robbed their access to inclusion and participation in the electoral processes in Nigeria.
  
She said: “The National Gender Policy only applies in theory and at the national level. NGP cannot be implemented in Nigeria if it remains at the national level, if it is not domesticated at the state and local government levels, the policy would remain a sham.  It was introduced in the electoral Act in 2003 and was amended in 2006 with the inclusion of the 35% affirmative action, but was not implemented at the various states even at the local government levels and it is currently being reviewed in 2021.  
  
“We, on our side, we are advocating that states should implement this policy by consulting stakeholders at the grassroots. That is why we are sensitizing critical stakeholders.
  
“We are trying to amplify citizens’ voices, especially women and girls raising the bar and demanding accountability and transparency should be considered, the reviewed Act should highlight the impact of corruption limiting women’s capacity to access public services, exclusion of women in decisions that affect their lives is important.”

“To sustain the gains of democracy, deliberate actions must be taken to ensure the inclusion of women, youths, and other marginalised groups.
  
“Reducing the cost of corruption in governance and service delivery for women and marginalised populations by promoting and preserving Nigeria’s democracy’s integrity must be grounded in its constitutional provisions and electoral processes, so as to stimulate gender equality and social inclusion in the ongoing Constitutional and Electoral review process.”

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