The Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), on Thursday, inaugurated a Women Parliament, to amplify voices of women and young girls about issues affecting them.
EWEI’s Founder and Programme Director, Mrs Safiya Ibn-Garba, said at the inauguration in Kaduna, that the event was to commemorate the 2021 International Youth Day (IYD).
Ibn-Garba said the parliament was the culmination of work, the NGO had been doing over the years, through its Civic Education and Participation for Women project.
She said the parliament provided the needed platform and space, where girls and women could speak in one voice about issues that affected them in their communities.
She explained that the parliament was established to address exclusion of women and girls in every representative platform in society.
“For example, currently, only seven women are in the Senate, representing 6.5 per cent.
“At the House of Representatives, the men occupy 350 seats, representing 97.2 per cent of the 360 seats, while women occupy only 2.7 per cent.
“The scenario is not different at state assemblies, local government councils and other platforms where representation is required,” she said.
She said representation was very important, adding that inauguration of the women parliament was to amplify girls and women’s voices.
According to her, the initiative is part of EWEI’s effort to promote participatory governance, sustainable democracy and ensure the unheard voices of women and girls are not only heard but amplified.
Earlier, EWEI’s Communication Officer, Ms Ibi Doo, said the 2021 IYD was celebrated Aug. 12 annually, to bring youth issues to attention of the international community.
Doo said the 2021 theme: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, highlighted successes of global efforts, which would not have been without youth participation.
According to her, the day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young people’s voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful universal and equitable engagement.
In her keynote address, Ms Efe Johnson, Founder of Xari Africa, an NGO, pointed out that youths should be part of the solutions to problems of society, stressing that there was no problem without a solution.
Johnson said young girls and boys should be positive and join other positive and self-motivated youths across the world, to make it a better place.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the parliament is made up of eight young girls from different communities in Kaduna state, including secondary school and university graduates.(NAN)