Stakeholders of the southeast region of Nigeria, yesterday met in Abakaliki Ebonyi state to deliberate on issues affecting women and the way forward.
The meeting was at the instance of the UN Women stakeholders consultation on the development of its strategic note for Nigeria, 2023-2027 for the zone with Commissioners for Women Affairs from Abia, Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi in attendance.
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, a global champion for women and girls.
UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting women and girls worldwide.
Speaking at the forum, UN women program Officer, Mrs. Patience Ekechukwu Said the UN Women Nigeria was in the process of developing its strategic note which will cover 2023 -2027.
She explained that the current UN Women Strategic Note (SN): 2018-2022 will end in December 2022; that the new SN will outline UN Women’s overall strategy and plan of action for Nigeria and respond to the developmental, humanitarian, and disaster risk reduction priorities of the government at the federal level and in selected states across the geopolitical zones (goal, action, timeline, and resources).
“The SN will also align and contribute directly to the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for Nigeria (UNSDCF: 2023-2027), and translate the UN Women’s Global Strategic Plan (2022-2025) and its All-Africa Strategy (AS) at the country level”, she stated.
She emphasized that the new SN for Nigeria would be designed with the full participation of all relevant stakeholders, including duty bearers and right holders at the national and sub-national levels. Accordingly, the CO will undertake a series of consultations with various government institutions, civil society, women’s rights organizations, women’s movements, the private sector, other UN agencies, NGOs, donors, and other in-country stakeholders and partners.
“The purpose of these consultations is to ensure that the design of the new SN for Nigeria is guided by the priorities, views, insights, and feedback from a broad spectrum of stakeholders including donors in the country.
“To provide an opportunity for the Country Office to know the perception of the different stakeholders at the national and sub-national level about the priorities and challenges to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Nigeria with regards to the following, governance and participation in public life; women’s economic empowerment; ending violence against women and girls; women, peace and security, humanitarian action, and disaster risk reduction.
“To obtain from participants the opportunities, including strategic partnerships, coordination mechanisms, potential interventions, good practices, and gaps at the geopolitical level to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
“To ensure that the new SN integrates the opinions and knowledge of diverse stakeholders about the priorities and challenges of advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Nigerian context, such as financing for gender equality, COVID-19 response”.
Ekechukwu expressed the hope that there would be a better understanding of the main gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) priorities of stakeholders vis-à-vis the strategic priorities of the UN as outlined in the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).
Deaconess Rose Urenta, Abia state, commissioner for women affairs, and her Ebonyi counterpart princess Chinwe Okah, represented by the Permanent Secretary Ebonyi state ministry of women affairs and social development in their remarks, called for an all-inclusive and equitable human development and well-being of women and girls in the zone.
They added that there should be more inclusive, participatory, transparent, and gender-sensitive governance, justice, and human rights systems