Communiqué issued at the end of the 3-Day Capacity Building Workshop for 56 Grassroots Women Leaders, Community Development officers as well as Women Journalists from Ekiti State
As part of preparatory efforts to the up-coming Elections, a 3-Day capacity building workshop was organized by Community Life Project (CLP) for Women Community Leaders, Community Development Officers from all the 16 Local Government Areas as well as Women Journalists from Ekiti State, at the Pope John Paul 11 Pastoral Centre, Ikere Road, Ekiti.
All the trained grassroots women were community leaders who play critical roles during elections as community organisers, mobilisers and vote canvassers.
The workshop equipped the participants with knowledge and skills for building a groundswell of support for women candidates at the community-level. The acquired skills also included how to effectively engage with government officials to ensure that women’s specific needs are included in the budget.
The participants made the following observations at the end of the training:
- In most states of the country, grassroots women have benefited next to nothing from the male dominated politics we have been subjected to since the return to civil rule in 1999.
- With the exception of a negligible number of male political leaders, the scorecard of the male-dominated political leadership is abysmally poor, showing increasing poverty, high rate of youth unemployment, restiveness, violence, maternal and child morbidity and mortality and lack of amenities and infrastructure.
- It is grossly unfair that women who make up almost 50% of the population should have less than 7% representation in the National Assembly and even less in Local Council Leadership positions in virtually all the states of the Federation.
- It is imperative to give room for more women to occupy key leadership positions both within political party structures and at all levels and organs of governance and to have women make input into government budgets to ensure that the specific needs of women are adequately addressed.
- Political Parties should make concerted efforts to ensure that 50% of the candidates they field in the 2015 elections are women.
- The posts of Party Secretary and Treasurer should be exclusively reserved for women candidates in all political parties.
- Government at all levels should ensure that no less that 50% of people appointed into offices are women.
- Women everywhere should synergise their capacity building, advocacy and organizational efforts to ensure that more women contest the 2015 elections and get into Key Leadership positions.