UN reviews progress on gender equality bill in Gombe

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

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The United Nations Women in Gombe State is holding a review meeting with various stakeholders at committee level to fast-track the process for the official transmission of the State Gender and Equal Opportunities bill into law.

It says the review meeting will debrief members of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill various committees on the efforts made so far.

Speaking at the two-day UN Women Review Meeting in Gombe, the Permanent Secretary, Gombe State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Alhaji Ishiaku Mohammed, said the bill had made reasonable progress.

Alhaji Mohammed said the government and UN Women had held series of sensitizations and engagements with stakeholders, in which members of the Executive Council were making their rightful inputs.

 “Permit me to appreciate the strong efforts made by the committee members who have been concurrently engaged in reviewing this bill, today the bill has made reasonable progress in the right direction. In the same vein, after series of sensitizations and engagements with line stakeholders, am happy to inform the committee members that, the bill is now with all members of the Executive Council to make their rightful inputs for onward reading by the EXCO and been presented to the State House of Assembly. This is the time TO set the process of change in motion so that collectively we can drive Gombe state to the next level of political and socio-economic development”, said Alhaji Mohammed.

The UN Women said the overall purpose of the UN Women review meeting is to debrief members of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill Committee on efforts made so far on engagements with key stakeholders and other related matters, as well as review their work plans to fast track the passage of the bill.

It also hopes to present the final draft of the bill to the members of the members of the committee, after inputs are made by the Executives and Legislators, review the process and work plan for the passage of the bill and agree on the next steps to fast-track the passage of the bill.

Strengthening women’s role
The Technical Advisor of the UN Women in Gombe State, Mrs. Rhoda Zira-Dia, encouraged members of the various committees to work hard to ensure that the bill is passed before June, this year, when the present UN Women Project in Gombe would end.

Mrs. Zira-Dia said the passage of the bill could encourage UN Women to include Gombe State if there would be phase II of the project.

 “I hope we are going to work hard to see that this bill sees the light of the day, because the project is ending in June so we do not have time. I would have ended this March, but it was extended by three months. It’s September officially, but every other activity stops in June. So I think we really need to strategise to see what we can achieve in these four months. And I think if we really want it back in Gombe, we need to do our homework and show UN Women that we can deliver. So I think passing of the bill, will be key to our achievement,” said Mrs. Zira-Dia.

The UN Women are currently implementing an EU-funded Programme aimed at strengthening women’s role in conflict prevention, peace-making and peace building, mitigating the impact of conflict upon women and girls and establish a conducive environment for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and monitor gender equality commitments in Nigeria.

It has the support of the Federal Government, three Northern States of Nigeria, and selected constituted Local Government Areas to strengthen women’s leadership, advance gender equality and improve protection for women and children in conflict settings.