Transparency and Integrity


'Women Participation, Empowerment' Strengthening Democratic Governance - Maureen Nwine


Edo State Government Empowering Women for Economic And Self Sustainability. 

An Opinion By : Maureen Nwine


It is not frivolous to state that empowering a woman endues liberation. This is because women empowerment helps in boosting the status of women through literacy, education, training and awareness creation for optimum economic and social well-being. It is therefore of no surprise when women worldwide clamour for empowerment of the female gender. Apart from it engendering a sense of inclusion, relevance and productivity, there is no gainsaying the fact that empowering and encouraging women to participate fully in the public sphere strengthens democratic governance for sustainable peace and development.

Over the past decades, there has been agitation over the inclusion of women in the polity. Today, many are rooting for this with so many instances of women who have contributed to the successes of their climes. The notion that the place of women is consigned to the kitchen has become obsolete. Twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - Progressive Road Map for Gender Equality - the story of women is finally taking a new turn.

Here in Nigeria, the narrative towards women emancipation has begun to change in many States of the Federation. Edo State in particular, under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki, has made gender equality a core objective of his administration with his 45% women inclusion in governance. It is the opinion of this writer that investing in women's right to political and economic participation for better livelihood is a necessary step to achieving socio-economic emancipation for the girl-child.

In order to fully leverage on the skills of women in the economy, there is need to create clearly defined roles for implementing a gender equality agenda. This, the Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki did when, true to his words during the 2018 celebration of the International Women's Day, the Governor called for inclusive policies and stronger collaboration on programs that will create spaces for women to be properly represented in politics and business.

Recently, in his economic drive for women empowerment, the Governor, in collaboration with Access Bank, disbursed grants to five hundred informal businesses run by widows in the State to boost their business ventures as well as support the unskilled labour force in the State. It is the Governor’s hope that the businesses supported by these grants will grow to improve the living conditions of the widows and their families, reduce the number of out of school children, reduce delinquency and above all, put smiles on the faces of these widows.

This is not surprising of a visionary leader who has a penchant for success and one aiming at creating a niche for the State via an all-inclusive, all-participatory and economically viable Government. This commitment to the welfare of women in the State by Governor Godwin Obaseki is motivational, as Edo women have gradually begun to recognize that they tooare stakeholders in the State’s economy, there by pushing to take their pride of place and make contributions towards Making Edo Great Again!!! 

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