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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.  

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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