IYD: NGO inaugurates women parliament in Kaduna

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)