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WOMEN’S DIALOGUE WITH GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATES IN OSUN STATE ORGANISED BY

WOMEN CONSORTIUM OF NIGERIA (WOCON)

With Support from

INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE

AND

UN WOMEN ABUJA

ON

30TH DAY OF JULY 2014

AT

LEISURE SPRINGS HOTEL IWO-IBADAN ROAD

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY WOMEN’S DIALOGUE WITH GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATES IN OSUN STATE ORGANISED BY

WOMEN CONSORTIUM OF NIGERIA (WOCON)

With Support from

INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE

AND

UN WOMEN ABUJA

ON

30TH DAY OF JULY 2014

AT

LEISURE SPRINGS HOTEL IWO-IBADAN ROAD

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Introduction/Background

Preparatory activities for the interactive dialogue of women in Osun State with the Governorship candidates started a few weeks prior to the event which took place on 30th July 2014 at the Leisure springs Hotel, in Osogbo.

Of the 20 Political Party candidates registered by the INEC to vie for the Governorship election in Osun State on the 9th of August 2014, only 7 of them had traceable offices. These are the Action Allianee (AA), All Progressive Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ACCORD, People Democratic Movement (PDM), Labour Party (AP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD)

All the Governorship candidates are men and only 8 of the Deputy Governorship candidates registered were women.  

Objectives

The main objectives of the Dialogue between women and the Governorship Candidates and or their deputies were to provide an opportunity for women to have informed choices at the polls and to elicit the candidate’s commitments to gender responsive governance.

Attendance.

Participants started arriving as early 8.30 am for the programme and did their registration in the attendance sheet provided. At the 1-day dialogue there were 296 women from the 30 local government areas  comprising women and few men from all sectors such as women politicians from various political parties, Market women and men groups, youths /students, Civil society groups and religious groups.

The critical majority of participants were about 90% women and mostly politicians. .

Also present was one Governorship Candidate Senator S.O. Fajinmi, representing the Alliance for Democracy (AD) Party. The representatives of the ACCORD  Governorship candidate Barrister Niyi Owolade and  Alhaji L.O. Bakare, State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) representing the Governorship candidates.

The various women leaders of PDP, Labour and Action Alliance (AA) represented their Governorship candidates.

The persons living with disabilities were well represented at the Dialogue.

Among the dignitaries were the INEC Gender desk representative Anthonia Ikuru who though came late for the programme due to a date mix up.

The women leaders at State and Senatorial levels of the Political parties were in attendance as well.

The Dialogue

The programme started with prayers and a brief opening ceremony where participants introduced themselves. This was followed by a welcome address and brief overview was delivered by Chief Mrs., Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi (Executive Director of Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON)

The objectives were explained by Mrs. Morenike Omaiboje a gender Consultant.

There was the presentation of the 12 point agenda for women by Mrs. Olateru-Olagbegi who traced the history of the computation of the 12 point agenda from the women’s womanifesto. Each point of the agenda was endorsed by the women by acclamation.

The candidates and or their representative then responded to the presentation stating the candidates and the Party Manifesto.

The participants in an interactive question and answer session asked the candidates some pertinent questions on how they intend to address the 12 point agenda if they win the election.

There was opportunity for the candidates and or their representatives to make further clarifications on their programme for women.

The proceedings were conducted in both Yoruba and English  for the better understanding of all the participants especially from the rural communities.

 Issues

Some of the issues discussed involved the need for issue based campaign rather than violence and thuggery, the protection of their mandate by using their votes wisely and not selling votes.

The recognition of the numerical strength of women as having 53% of registered voters and as such will determine who wins the election.

The persons living with disabilities also raised issues concerning their welfare and asked the candidates about their programme to ensure their inclusiveness in the stream of governance.

Publicity

The event was covered by the Print and electronic media. The NTA Osun covered and aired the programme in Yoruba and English on the evening of the same day 30 July 2014 to provide it a wider publicity especially for the women that were not opportune to be physically present as well as the candidates.

The Punch and Nation Newspaper reporters also covered the event and promised to publish it soon.

Achievements

The programme succeeded in getting the women to understand the issues that affect them as women and have opportunity to assess the programmes of the Political parties on many of these issues of concern.

It was also an opportunity to get the candidates and or their representatives to sign the social contract of the 12 point agenda which they will use to demand accountability for any of the candidates that wins the election.

The candidates also became more aware of the needs and demands of women in the State so as to plan better for a gender responsive governance.

The publicity given to the programme by  the NTA further created more awareness on the needs of women and the importance of having informed choices at the polls. The NTA in their interview of some of the dignitaries were able to emphasize the use of the social contract as an accountability tool to challenge the wining government.

Challenges

The major challenge for the programme was the timing as many of the candidates who had promised to come personally to the programme were unable to do so because of the two-day Muslim Holiday that preceded the event and the closeness to the election date and their last minute campaigns.

Conclusion

Credible elections can only be achieved if every citizen has the opportunity to exerice his/her mandate in a free, fair and peaceful environment. This is predicated on the need to protect women’s mandate especially as they constitute the majority of voters. Women’s mandated can only be properly and wisely utilized if women have informed choices and have their issues and needs taken into consideration by those aspiring to hold public offices.

As there is no female candidate among the Governorship candidates it is important that the process of electing any of the candidate will involve women voting wisely for male candidate that will protect the rights amd welfare of women.  

SOCIAL CONTRACT BETWEEN GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATES AND WOMEN OF OSUN STATE
TWELVE POINT AGENDA ADOPTED AT THE WOMEN’S DIALOGUE WITH GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATES IN OSUN STATE ON THE 30th DAY OF JULY 2014
AT LEISURE SPRING HOTEL OSOGBO, OSUN STATE
 
After an interactive Dialogue between the Governorship Candidates and the Women in Osun State, the Governorship candidates agreed with the women to do the following if elected:
 
DECISION MAKING: That our GOVERNMENT shall take positive steps to ensure that appointments into our cabinet and into various boards have at least 35% women representation at all levels in accordance with the National Gender Policy. Our Government will encourage the active participation of women in politics and Governance in all strata including the adoption of the twining policy of male and female occupying leadership positions in institutions and establishments in the State. The Government will also establish a Gender Equity Commission to monitor due compliance to commitments towards gender responsiveness by the Nigerian government and our State Government.
 
HEALTH: That our government shall provide well equipped primary health facilities in every local government, free quality health care services, adequate antenatal, prenatal and post natal care in the local government areas in the State. That our Government will take all measures appropriate to reduce maternal mortality, morbidity and HIV/AIDS in the State.
 
EDUCATION: That our GOVERNMENT shall put in place a comprehensive framework to monitor the gender responsiveness of the Universal Basic Education Programme in line with the Education for All (EFA) initiative and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of which targets have to be met by the end of 2015 respectively. That our government will take appropriate measures to strengthen existing public schools in the State and ensure that all children especially the girls attend free and compulsory primary and secondary schools.
 
ECONOMIC & POVERTY ALLEVIATION: That our GOVERNMENT shall as a matter of urgency establish special credit scheme, for small, medium and large scale women entrepreneurs. That the budget of the State shall take into consideration the needs of women and support women’s economic enhancement. We shall also commence gender sensitive industrialization processes to make Osun State, a leading State in Nigeria.
 
WIDOWS AND ORPHANS: That our GOVERNMENT shall take steps towards ensuring the protection and well being of widows, orphans and vulnerable people through favourable policies and programmes.
 
ENVIRONMENT: That our GOVERNMENT shall adopt programmes that will address gender specific climate issues, provide alternative source of energy to cut carbon emissions and generally keep the environment clean and healthy for all through the creation of an effective agency.
 
AGRICULTURE: That our GOVERNMENT shall put in place gender responsive mechanized agricultural system and also take appropriate steps to provide adequate food security in the State.
 
ROAD NETWORK: That our government shall take appropriate steps to construct access to rural roads.
WATER SUPPLY: That our government shall ensure clean, accessible and adequate water supply in Osun State particularly in all the local government areas.
 
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY: That our GOVERNMENT shall take necessary steps towards, providing access and creating equal opportunities and generally addressing the welfare of people living with disabilities.
 
CHILD ABUSE: That our GOVERNMENT shall put in place policies and programmes to prevent the abuse of children in the State.
 
COMMUNAL CONFLICT: That our GOVERNMENT shall put in place policies and programmes to prevent manage and resolve incessant communal conflicts in the State and will guarantee peaceful coexistence as well as violent free electoral process.

JOINT STATEMENT BY WOCON IMADR & WILDDAF NIGERIA

 

Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON), International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) NIGERIA would like to request your country/community to take immediate actions with regard to the children and women who have been abducted by the Boko Haram in Nigeria.

 We, concerned non-governmental organisations, issued the attached joint statement in reaction to the recent wide-scale crime committed by the Boko Haram.

We call on the community of nations, especially the Islamic community and African Union, to categorically condemn these atrocities and inhuman acts of the Boko Haram as they are un-Islamic and constitute war crimes.

 

We also call all nations to provide for support for the rescue of the abducted girls and women in the Boko Haram. In particular we call on the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africans States) military and ECOMOG (ECOWAS Monitoring Group) to assist in the rescue of the children and women in captivity as well as dismantle the Boko Haram across the borders of Nigeria with Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Details of our Petition is herewith attached

 We thank you for your support to the children and women concerned.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi

Executive Director

Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON)

National Coordinator WILDAF Nigeria

 

Nimalka Fernando

President

International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) 

Women’s Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) is a non-political and non profit making Association, committed to the enhancement of the status of women and related feminist goals and ideals. A non-governmental, non-partisan and non-religious Organisation committed to the enforcement of Women and children’s Rights and the attainment of equality, development and peace.
 

Mission Statement

Women’ Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) shall be non-political and none-profit making Association, committed to the enhancement of the status of women and related feminist goals and ideals.

A non-governmental, non-partisan and non-religious Organisation committed to the enforcement of Women and children’s Rights and the attainment of equality, development and peace.

WOCON holds a United Nations special Consultative Status

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