PROMOTING PARTICIPATION, TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND GENDER RESPONSIVENESS IN GOVERNANCE IN ANAMBRA STATE
CIRDDOC Nigeria in collaboration with JDPC Onitsha with the support of Christian Aid implemented the project entitled “Increase participation and representation of women and adolescent girls in informal and formal decision making in Anambra State” under the V2P IF between October 2014 to June 2015.
The issue addressed in this project is the near absence of women, persons with disability and youth in the political decision making process and in the general scheme of things in Anambra state in particular. Though women constitute more than half the population of Nigeria, they remained significantly outnumbered in the corridors of power. Nigerian women and girls like the rest of the world have a history of marginalization, oppression, and discrimination and have since struggled for emancipation. Hence the United Nations (UN) has adopted several conventions and agreements among them, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), children’s convention and Beijing Platform for Action, among others. The African Union in its constitutive Act and in the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa commit member countries to take concrete measures to accelerate gender equality and facilitate women’s full participation in the development of the countries and the continent. Despite these international and regional agreements, women have not fully realized their rights and Nigeria and most of the states including Anambra are yet to fully domesticate these agreements.
The under-representation of women in decision making bodies and policy formulation processes also has a significant impact on the core economic sectors including the health sector’s responsiveness to gender equality considerations. The vast majority of sectoral policies and service delivery systems frequently fail to adopt gender-sensitive approaches and address gender inequalities.
The goal of the project is therefore increased participation and representation of women and other underrepresented groups by 10% in Anambra State House of Assembly by 2015 general elections
The overall objective is to increase the number of women in politics and assist the few in leadership positions to maximise their potentials.
The specific objectives are:
- To build the capacity of 30 civil society organisations and networks to demand accountability, social inclusion, respect for human rights, and quality services from leadership and persons in authority.
- To increase women’s interest and participation in electoral process through involvement in election mandate protection in 2015 General Elections.
- To build the capacity of 30 women politicians (old and new) from Anambra State on human rights, legislative advocacy, leadership, policy development and implementation, self esteem and confidence building towards the promotion of the rights of women before 2015 elections.
- To facilitate mentoring of young and budding women politicians by older women achievers to aspire to leadership and decision making positions.
- To engage 5 key political parties to institutionalize a mechanism for increasing persons with disability and women’s involvement in politics before 2015 elections
To achieve these goals, the following activities were outlined:
- study of performance analysis of women participation in politics in Anambra State,
- Advocacy visits to core stakeholders,
- Stakeholder’s dialogue at the state level,
- Training of 90 CSOs (women) in Awka North LG (Achalla and Urum), Orumba North LG (Ujalli and Ufuma) and Nnewi South LG (Ekwulumili and Azigbo)
- Step down training of women in two communities in each of the three LGAs,
- Mandate protection before and during the 2015 elections and
- Video documentary of the experiences of women in politics to be used for street theatre in markets/Village squares to motivate other women to participate in politics.
The project addressed the marginalisation of women by customary and statutory laws, which leads to very low participation in politics and decision-making by women. It will adopt strategies, which has catalytic effect such as mentoring of younger women and upcoming politicians on human rights, advocacy, leadership, policy development and implementation, self esteem and confidence building, communication, mobilization and campaign management etc. This project will also tackle the hydra headed problem of lack of participatory governance particularly at the grassroots level. Community members will be prepared and encouraged to participate in governance through activities like town hall meetings to hold elected representatives accountable.
PHOTO NEWS OF THE CIRDDOC/JDPC – V2P PROJECT CONDUCTED IN 6 COMMUNITIES IN ANAMBRA STATE