WARDC urges Akwa Ibom government to adopt nat’l gender policy 

The Women Advoates Researh & Documentation Centre (WARDC) that is committed to promote respect for human rights, gender equality, equity, accountability, and social justice in Nigeria has urged the Akwa Ibom state government to adopt the National Gender Policy as a working document to promote social inclusion for development.

The project manager of WARDC, Mrs. Emmanuella Azu, made the appeal during a one-day roundtable meeting with personnel of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state in Uyo on Tuesday.

The theme of the event is ‘Promoting Gender Equity and Social Inclusion in Akwa Ibom State Developing a road map.’

She stated that “National Gender Policy provides guidelines for mainstreaming gender in various sectors of the economy with the overall goal of reducing gender inequalities and enhancing participation of women, men, girls and boys in socio-economic and political development.”

Mrs. Azu also insisted that women were still left behind in many areas of endeavours in Akwa Ibom state and added  that the adoption of National Gender Policy would guarantee inclusion of both women and People Living with Disabilities (PLWD) in the state.

She said when the policy is adopted, there will be improvement in all sectors of the economy of the state.

In her welcome remarks, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, commended the organisation for coming up with such a lofty programme which will help to push back frontiers of gender inequalities and promote social inclusion in the development of the state.

She added that why the campaign on gender equity was still holding sway was that male gender was still taking upper hand in the society.

Adiakpan added  that social inclusion begins from budgetary allocation and that  gender responsive budgets will be addressed to ensure that while budgeting, the female gender was captured succinctly.

She stated that a responsive budget will help women, in not just developing themselves but also participate actively in developing the society.