- The goal of the National Gender Policy is to build a just society devoid of any form of discrimination
- A review of the 15-year old policy document is currently ongoing by Nigeria's ministry of women affairs
- Civil society organisations like Connected Development, are already partnering with the ministry to ensure the policy is strengthened
FCT, Abuja - Through the ministry of women affairs, the federal government is currently undergoing the review of Nigeria's National Gender Policy.
The head, Gender-Based Violence and Data Management Branch in the ministry, Mrs. Udeme Abia disclosed this on Thursday, June 10 while hosting a delegation from foremost civil society organisation, Connected Development (CODE).
A Legit.ng reporter was part of the delegation to the ministry led by CODE's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hamzat Lawal.
Building a nation devoid of gender discrimination
Mrs. Abia who was standing in for Mrs. Friya Bulus, director of Gender Affairs in the ministry, said a validation meeting where critical stakeholders were invited on Wednesday, June 10 to get their input.
She added that the African Development Bank is supporting the national gender policy situation analysis with support from the ministry's consultant Professor Olabisi Aina, stressing that the review is long overview since the last one was held in 2006.
She also announced that the ministry has since set up a data room to collate the number of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) cases in the country.
CODE's advocacy in tackling Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Speaking earlier, the CEO of CODE, Hamzat Lawal reeled out what his organisation has been doing concerning SGBV while soliciting for the ministry's partnership as the campaign enters its next stage.
“With support from the UN Women Spotlight Initiative, we undertook a project on engaging stakeholders, increasing capacity, collecting data, and doing sensitization around Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
“We have harmonised our action plan to get it adopted by the ministry and present it to the minister. So, we can enjoy the highest level of political goodwill, acceptance from the states, and most importantly, get the support of our development partners.
“This conversation is timely, because we want you to see this report as your report. We think we should collaborate and have a harmonisation meeting before it is presented.
“We hope that at the end of this meeting, we can harmonise findings, collect feedback, and them present it to the minister and the head of UN Women so this can be transmitted to the Federal Executive Council for the necessary approval, so we can start implementing this 5-year work plan to ensure that every stakeholder's voice is captured in the work-plan.
“Because we want the ministry to own this document and champion it, the ministry can also use her network to approach the UN Women so we can get all the political will as support.”
He noted that other African countries can learn from the collaboration between government and civil society in Nigeria concerning the SGBV campaign.
He added that pushing the campaign across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria is the joint responsibility of both the ministry and civil society, to sensitize people at the grassroots, working with traditional, religious, and community leaders.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that CODE launched its 2020 annual report in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Thursday, June 10.
Speaking at the event, Lawal advocated for the national emergency procurement guidelines to be updated, and pushed for the prioritization of the country’s failing healthcare infrastructure.
He also announced that CODE has increased its socio-digital community of over 7000 activists, who he noted are driving solutions and holding government to transparency standards across Africa.
Recall that CODE, through its grassroots accountability initiative, Follow The Money tracked N96.7 billion COVID-19 funds both at the federal and state levels in Nigeria.
Lawal, revealed this at a national town hall meeting in Abuja attended by a Legit.ng reporter in December 2020.
The theme of the meeting was: Dialogue on strengthening accountability measures for COVID-19 intervention funds.