Nigerian women from various walks of life will be gathering to hold a national dialogue at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja between November 27 and 29, 2019,
In a statement by organisers of the event, they said, “The dialogue, tagged WOMANIFESTO 2019, is expected to culminate in a coherently articulated set of demands that will galvanise into a coordinated women’s movement in Nigeria as different women groups and individuals start to push for its actualisation.
“Delegates will be drawn from women groups, collectives, civil societies, entrepreneurs, professionals, social media influencers and women within the labour workforce. The method for facilitating the generation of the ‘womanifesto’ will ensure that participating women have the opportunity to articulate the Nigeria they want.”
The conference report, made available to journalists by its Communications Chair, Mrs Mary Ikoku, gave a dismal assessment of the situation of women in Nigeria, whereby globally, Nigeria is among the 10 per cent of countries worldwide that exhibits the highest levels of gender discrimination with an assessment of “high” or “very high” in all of the evaluated categories based on four social institutions- discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, restricted resources and assets and restricted civil liberties.
The SIGI 2019 category and value ranked Nigeria at 46% out of 100%. The UNDP human development index value and ranking for Nigeria are 0.532 with a position of 157 out of 189 countries, putting Nigeria in the low human development category.
The report identified barriers for this abysmal situation but singled out “lack of political will on the part of successive governments since 1999” as the main culprit.
Dr. Abiola Akiyode of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center, one of the organizers of the event, said, “The Womanifesto seeks to enhance the voice, participation and protection of Nigerian Women, the dialogue will consolidate our collective struggle to end gender-based violence, poverty, insecurity, abuse of women’s sexual and reproductive rights and our rights to participate in our country. We can no longer be second class citizens in our land. We must move collectively to end the continued oppression of our bodily integrity”.
Areas to be discussed include Violence against women and girls, Women Peace and Security, Women and Economic Empowerment, Women’s Political Participation, Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
Others include agriculture, education or other areas that women groups and associations deem critical.