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ECOWAS, GIZ back domestication of gender policy in Edo




Economic Community of West African States and German agency, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, have thrown their weight behind the domestication of the Edo State gender policy, launched by the wife of the state governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, on Wednesday.

In a message made available to South-South PUNCH on Thursday, the Diversity Advisor, Gender and Diversity (Equity and Inclusion) Secretariat, GIZ Nigeria, Kate Okoh-Kpina, who also represented the ECOWAS, commended the Edo State government on the launch of the policy.

Okoh-Kpina stated that with the launch, Edo State had taken a huge stride in addressing issues of gender and gender parity in the state, adding that GIZ was committed to supporting the move through the Feminist Development Policy.

She said, “Before the call for the policy started, we had a gender-neutral approach, but now we have gravitated towards a more gender-sensitive, responsive and transformative approach, where we try to change norms in society, and encourage both men and women to have equal opportunities.

“Taking a very close look at the Feminist Development Policy, launched by the German government in 2022, you will see that it is not just about human rights, but the right representation and resources for women are being encouraged.

“This is to create an enabling platform for women to have the right to own property, while women can also act as surety. Also, looking closely at the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, you will see that both the rights of men and women are now being protected from harmful cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation and harmful widowhood practices.

“We also see that more recently, the courts are drawn towards making judgments that protect the rights of women, which is a step in the right direction. We are also encouraging women to have better voices to be heard politically, socially and otherwise.”

She, however, promised to continue to use GIZ’s Skills Development for Youth Employment project to advocate and encourage more gender-transformative approaches that promote the rights of women.

She called on all stakeholders to continue to speak up for the rights of women, reduce gender violence, which was really affecting women and the vulnerable groups including children and the girl child.