Traditional ruler seeks support for UN programmes for gender equality

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The Wazirin Sokoto, Prof. Sambo Junaidu, has called on stakeholders to support the United Nations interventions on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

This, he said, was to promote women education, participation in governance and gender-responsive policies.

Junaidu made the call during a regional Stakeholders’ Consultations on the Development of UN Women Strategic for Nigeria (2023 to 2027).

It was organised for the North-West geopolitical zone on Monday in Sokoto.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports it was organised by the Sokoto State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, UN Women, in partnership with the Sultan Foundation.

He reiterated that UN Women’s efforts should be complemented by individuals, groups, institutions, organisations and governments at all levels.

The Wazirin Sokoto stated that this was in recognition of the desire to improve standard of living for women and girls.

He said it was also to recognise women’s leadership roles in the communities and society at large.

Junaidu, who is a Senior Member in the Sultanate Council, described the efforts as being in tandem to cultural and traditional tenets.

He said:”with the calibre of discussions and participants at the workshop, the new strategic note would align with religious provisions and the constitution of Nigeria.

”Maximum support would be given to the actualization of the Strategic Note (SN).”

Junaidu expressed hope that it would strengthen the advancement of women in all sectors, as well as to reduce the challenges women face in society.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Hajiya Kulu Sifawa, said that all avenues were being explored toward developing and implementing relevant and inclusive policies.

She said that such policies would enhance the empowerment of women and girls, as well as create an enabling environment for women to actualise their dreams.

Sifawa said that the state government was determined to implement the right policies and support the actualization of the Strategic Note.

This was to promote participation of women in politics, economic activities and governance at all levels.

She lauded the organizers of the meeting, describing it as part of a robust exercise taking place across all six geopolitical zones.

Earlier, the UN Women Programme Specialist, Ms Tosin Akibu, informed the participants that the consultation was to improve UN Women’s strategy.

This is in addressing issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment across four thematic areas.

Akibu said the areas comprised Women Economic Empowerment, sustained, inclusive economic growth.

They also include development that provides equitable opportunities for decent employment and livelihoods for women and girls.

Akibu said other areas include humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction to ensure equitable access to affordable clean energy.Others are sustainable food systems and increased resilience to climate change and disasters.

”When looking at GBV, as well as health, a key focus was for communities to have increased access to and use of quality basic social services especially education and social protection.

” Furthermore, ensuring inclusion of women in governance, fair participation in public life and women’s role in peace and security.

”This is paramount in enhancing participatory, transparent, gender-sensitive governance.

” Access to justice and emphasis on women’s rights at all levels is critical accelerating achievement of the 2030 agenda and SDGs, for a peaceful, inclusive and cohesive society,” Akibu said.

NAN reports that the current UN Women SN 2018 to 2022 will end in December.

The Nigeria Country Office has initiated the process of developing a successor SN that would cover the period of 2023-2027.

The new SN will outline UN Women’s overall strategy and plan of action for Nigeria.

This enables the country to respond to the developmental, humanitarian and disaster risk reduction priorities of governments.

It will also align and contribute directly to the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), for Nigeria UNSDCF: 2023-2027.

The framework is currently at the final stage of development.

It will also translate the UN Women’s Global Strategic Plan (2022-2025), and its All-Africa Strategy to the country.

Participants were drawn from northwest states that comprised state lawmakers, academicians, youths and women groups, traditional institutions, NGOs, journalists and government officials. (NAN)

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