Life Transformation For Africa Initiative Pledges Its Commitment In Advocating For The Participation Of Young Women In Politics Through The Breaking Barrier West Africa Campaign

Ezeani Chiemezie

Ezeani Chiemezie

Executive Director

Passionate about change, economic growth & social development. Ezeani Chiemezie is the founder and Executive Director of LIFT4Africa. A sport lover with the philosophy "The we can"

           

The breaking barrier West Africa campaign is an initiative of the Gender Center for Empowerment Initiative (GENCED) in collaboration with the World Movement for Democracy (WMD) is aimed at the increasing the interest of women in political participation and leadership role, while also calling on CSOs, government and international organizations and agencies to get involved in addressing this “social stigmatization”.

The program started by 1:00 pm with an opening prayer from Hon. Steven Happiness, and was later followed by the National Anthem. The Executive Director of Life Transformation for Africa Initiative comrd. Ezeani Chiemezie welcomed everyone for being present, while giving a brief history and background on the fight on equal right of women in politics championed in the late 17th century.  He therefore urged all women to imbibe on the slogan of the early suffragist –“Deed Not Word”

The breaking barrier West Africa campaign is an initiative of the Gender Center for Empowerment Initiative (GENCED) in collaboration with the World Movement for Democracy (WMD) is aimed at the increasing the interest of women in political participation and leadership role, while also calling on CSOs, government and international organizations and agencies to get involved in addressing this “social stigmatization”.

It is on this note that Life Transformation for Africa Initiative (LIFT4Africa) collaborated and pledged to join the campaign “Breaking Barrier West Africa” so as to be a key actor in addressing this social menace and stigmatization confronting the female gender. In ensuring that LIFT4Frica meets its end of the bargain, the “Gender Forte and Empowerment” department was launched to address and attend to issues surrounding ‘gender and empowerment’

The campaign was honored by Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, the Resident Electoral Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who was duly represented by Dr. Mrs Chinyere Osuji spoke on the challenges women face before, during and after elections. These issues amount to phobia and stigmatizations among women. She strongly pointed out that some of which are; electoral laws, violence, internal party structure, custom and traditions, religion and the pull-down-syndrome by women< stating that these are some of the factors that leads to the low representation of women in politics.

Dr. Osuji further advised that “for women to have a higher representation in elective and appointive positions, political parties needs to amend their internal constitution to be more gender friendly and also the need to appoint more women into the decision making level of the party, this would enable them to take issues pertaining to women as an issue of national concern.

Other dignitaries at the occasion were two (2) members of the Imo State House of Assembly who won in the recent general election. Hon. Uju Onwudiwe (representing Njaba Federal Constituency) accompanied by Hon. Philip Ejiogu (rep. Owerri North Federal Constituency) shared both their experiences, challenges and the strategies they took that saw them emerged victorious. Also present in the launch were some of the female contestants in the just concluded 2019 general election, such as Hon. Steven Happiness, Hon.

Tina Anya and Hon. Uche Ogbonna, recounted their personal experiences while pointing out sexual harassment, poor financing, rigging, to mention but a few as the challenges they encountered. They were advised not to relent on their effort to succeed in their quest to emerge political actors.

Hon. Uju reiterated the need to get married if they are really ready to succeed in this political tussle, stating that the support of her husband has been instrumental in her political success.

The Ambassador of “Breaking Campaign West Africa” Amb. Maryanne Nkwocha pointed out that it is true that women are being stigmatized on issues of elective and appointive political positions, thus calling on law makers to take it as a responsibility in ensuring that more legislative measures are taken so as to increase the number of women in political positions.

Young Women In Politics

Comrd, Ezeani Chiemezie, (ED LIFT4Africa) went further to ask Hon. Uju how long she has been in active politics thus calling on young women to get involve in political activity early enough so as to acquire wealth of experiences and a solid political foundation that would enable them attain a greater political height without hindrance. While calling on those who also contested in the previous election to see the lost as an avenue to restrategize for the forth coming election.

He further called on women not to wait to be given power, rather to go and grab it. This could only be possible if they have a political platform where their decisions would count, as they get actively involved in the decision making process of the party.

A day before the launch, Amb. Maryanne Nkwocha, Hon. Tina Anya, Hon. Steven Happiness, Hon. Sweeny and Comrd. Ezeani Chiemezie went for a radio program at 1Radio Oguta. The purpose was to discuss the need to encourage, support and get more women involved in active politics.

The program ended by 4:47 pm with the appointment of focal persons followed by a closing prayer by Miss Ijeoma Obijekwu and then an interview which was followed by a group picture. Pressmen present were from 1Radio, Nigeria Newspoint and Nigeria Newsbreak Newspaper.

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