The need for women’s inclusion and active participation in the political process in Nigeria was once again brought to the fore at a four-day capacity building workshop on ‘Leadership and Management, Media and Communication, Gender Budgeting and Public Speaking for Young Female Special Advisers in Nigeria’, organised by Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, also known as Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN) with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The workshop which took place recently at the Treasure Suites and Conferences, Abuja, was facilitated by Isu Media Ltd and BudgIT respectively.
The workshop according to PWAN is the third phase of their ‘Beyond Voting: Increasing Women’s Participation in the Political Process’ programme. According to the Executive Director of the all-women organisation, Mrs. Kemi Okenyodo had at the closing ceremony stated that the objective of the programme was to ‘strengthen women’s capacity to participate in politics and shape policies, through working with the civic, traditional, political and government actors to break barriers that diminish women’s voices in decision’.
The thirteen (13) participants who were drawn from all walks of life from the six geopolitical zones plus the FCT, are representatives of a future of visionary female leaders who would not only take active leadership roles but would also motivate and inspire a new generation of impactful women that would change the narrative by contributing meaningfully to the development to the society. The Young Female Special Advisers are already occupying key political positions in government at different levels; as Special Assistants and Special Advisers to Governors, Senators, Ministers amongst others.
Isu Media Ltd facilitated the training on leadership, management, media and communication and public speaking, and was led by it Managing Director, Mr. Odoh Diego Okenyodo, a communication expert and consummate trainer. Mr. Okenyodo enjoined the trainees to be steadfast in their resolve to make a change against a patriarchal system that is bent on stifling their voices simply because they are women. Gender Budgeting on the other hand was facilitated by a team of BudgIT. The workshop afforded the participants the opportunity to interact and learn new skills that would help them in the discharge of their responsibilities and in becoming better leaders. The participants’ were unanimous in identifying that the lack of women’s inclusion in leadership roles was a major setback women are facing and insisted that women must be given the chance to contribute to the development of the country. The Young Female Special Advisers also rededicated their commitment to supporting one another and in changing the status quo that has ensured that women continue to be deprived of their rightful place in the society.
The Young Female Special Advisers in a group photograph during the workshop in Abuja.
Although the physical training has ended, a virtual mentorship phase of the training will continue till the 14th December 2020 by which time they would have been genuinely empowered with the requisite skills to hold their own in their various places of engagements.