Yiaga Africa tasks NASS clerks on gender-responsive budgeting

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Yiaga Africa, an international NGO, on Friday in Lagos called on National Assembly to improve budget appropriation for issues against discrimination and violence against women and girls.

The Project Manager, Yiaga Africa, Dr Ernest Ereke, made the call at a two-day workshop for Committee Clerks of the National Assembly on all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN-EU sponsored Spotlight Initiative was themed ‘Capacity Building Workshop on Gender-Responsive Budgeting’.

“We believe that as clerks to these committees, they are in a very good position to advise, suggest ways and means through which legislature will improve appropriation to gender related issues,” he said.

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Ereke said the workshop was aimed at building the capacity of committee clerks of NASS on how to mainstream gender issues into the appropriation bills.

He added that the workshop was a continuation of a process engaging stakeholders including, the legislature, CSOs and staff of NASS on how to address issues of discrimination and violence against women and girls.

“We believe there are certain programmes, policies and projects of government that require funding in order to address them,” he said.

Ereke hoped that the engagement would help participants understand why and how to bring up issues of gender into the appropriation bills.

Dr Terfa Abraham, a consultant from the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, however, noted that gender budgeting was not about women only but ensuring that the budget was used as a tool of achieving inclusive development for all.

He added that the budget should cater for excluded and vulnerable groups, especially women, girls, young people and people living with disabilities (PWD).

Abraham said clerks play important roles in the bureaucracy and management of NASS affairs and ensure that the input reflects what is expected by the gender policy of the government.

He added that clerks can prompt MDAs to amend their budgets if they were not gender-responsive.

“During the budget defense, clerks play a critical role in forming the question and answer section between the MDAs and the members of assembly.

“The clerks can raise important questions that can make MDAs sit up to provide those answers critical in providing for those projects,” he said. (NAN)

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