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UNESCO to empower women for political leadership


ABUJA – UNESCO said in Abuja on Friday that it was intensifying efforts towards empowering women for political leadership in 2015 general elections.

Towards this end, it said the third regional Training of Trainers (TOT) on ‘Gender and Transformative Leadership’ was held in Port Harcourt on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Ronald Kayanja, Communication and Information Advisor at UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja.

The statement explained that the training was part of UNESCO’s support to the electoral process in Nigeria.

“The training was jointly funded by the EU, UK AID, the Canadian Government and UNDP through the Democratic Governance and Development project with the support of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.’’

It quoted Prof. Hassana Alidou, Director, UNESCO Regional Office Abuja, as saying that gender equality was a human rights principle, a pre-condition for sustainable, people-centred development.

“Lack of women’s leadership tends to perpetuate unequal gender relations and absence of women’s voice and input into the decision-making processes through lack of role models for young women.’’

According to it, representative of Rivers Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Joeba Westpraised, said the initiative will increase the participation of women in political activities in the country.

“The training will help to change the mind-set and encourage women and men to work together as leaders in different facets of our economy.’’

It said Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina, represented by Mr Omonigho Omoefe, said the objective of the training was to create awareness about the importance of women participation in the electoral process.

It stated that the expectation was to create a critical mass of trainers towards 2015 and beyond.

According to the statement, the minister hoped that the participation of women in the forthcoming elections will surpass the performance in 2011 general elections and the state specific elections that followed.

It said the workshop attracted 41 participants from the six states of Nigeria’s South-South geopolitical zone.

It added that the training focussed on conceptualisations of Leadership and governance. (NAN)

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