Women are Shortchanged Politically:- Says Presidential aide.
(1) What is your view on reported marginalization of women in the 2019 elections by the political parties?
I want to say that it is a lack of understanding of the role that the women play and this could only happen because the individual who are running the parties are not really interested in supporting the gender approach to governance.
My view is that such things are not meant for only women to be advocating for; I believe that the men should also join in the advocation for gender balance in governance.
The issue of gender balance should be a continuous advocacy and not just during elections and to hold individuals who manage political parties accountable to be sure they abide by gender balance when it comes to the issues of nominating candidate for elections.
(2) Do you believe that gender equity is a key factor in most appointments made of the different levels of government?
I believe it is very important and I also think that competence is very important as well. We must strive especially leaders at different levels to strike a balance when they either appoints and when the seek to elect or fill people for different offices in Nigeria, am also certain that within the public service that we have struck that balance in Nigeria because when you look around, you will find out that so many women are directors, permanent secretaries, judges, women have headed the supreme court and the court of appeal is currently headed by women so it seems to me that in the public service, we have achieved some level of gender equality with women heading very sensitive positions, where I think we are having strong gender gap is when it comes to electives positions and appointments at the highest level, like when you look at the cabinet ministers and women who are in the national Assembly or women who are in the state assembly for example, you will find out that we lack that sense of gender balance or equity in the distribution of those appointments.
So that is something we really need to deal with and one of the views that we can continue to Advocate and canvas for that is equity.
(3) What do you consider as the most important agendum for women and children in Nigeria that elected politicians must implement?
(i) The agenda we should really be canvassing for is first of all is education; we really need to make sure the women both in the rural areas understand the need for education, we want women to be educated so as to enable them complete any level and also build their families, because it takes another educated women to educate other women including their own children. Education is the best empowerment you can give to any child, be it a boy or a girl.
(ii) Economic empowerments; we have to find ways to ensure that our young girls are economically empowered and it is only by going to school that you can get a good job, be it trading or hand work, you will need at least basic education to make it more successful.
I applaud the government for making it possible for our women to get loan for their small businesses through the help (BOI) Bank of Industry and I am an Advocate for provision of soft loans for women. I also run a foundation called JC Ibekaku Hope project.
(4) What are your development blueprints for your senatorial zone should your people elect you as their Senator?
I want to put this in the context of the work I have done, I have being a development expert for close to 25years now, I have 26 years post graduate degree in law, but beyond reading law, I have also gone to work with development agencies, the United Nation, the U.S Agency and the British council. In each of the work I have done, I also focused on how to better the life of the average Nigerian and that includes improving the Justice Sector.
- To enable every citizen to have equal Justice, regardless of gender, tribes and religion, that is what I have done all through my life; working with both women to advance women rights issues.
- Leadership training for young people both male and female.
- Provide health care services through the help of government.
- Provide soft loans for young entrepreneurs both male and female.
- Improve Agricultural system by providing the proper mechanism.
- Provide educational material for my zone.
- Am not saying that I will end unemployment but I promise to reduce it drastically particulars in the zone I represent.
Those are the things JC Ibekaku foundation has been doing as founded 10years ago but this time it will increase its impact in the life of my people.