The Commissioner of Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba, has disclosed that Kaduna state is using the United Nations model of Male Engagement as Gender Champions for the promotion of gender equality.
Hajiya Hafsat stated this at HE for SHE orientation workshop which was organized by UN WOMEN, with support of Norwegian embassy, which held in Kaduna last Thursday.
Explaining the concept, Hajiya Hafsat said that ‘’it is a campaign that recognizes that gender equality is not only a struggle for women, by women but a development process through which men and boys become agents of change for the achievement of gender equality.‘’
‘’Achieving gender equality requires an inclusive approach that both recognizes men and boys as partners for women’s rights and acknowledges how they stand to benefit from greater equality,’’ she added.
The commissioner praised Governor Nasir El-Rufai for promoting gender equality, disclosing that although women are not well represented in elective positions, he augmented this lopsidedness by appointed more women in his administration.
‘’There is now an almost ratio of 60/40 of women to male political appointees at the State Executive Council and heads of agencies and departments where decisions are carried out,‘’ Hajiya Hafsat added.
The commissioner recalled that Governor El-Rufai’ was first designated a HE for SHE by the then UN WOMEN representative, Comfort Lamptey, in 2018.
Hajiya Hafsat justified why the UN is campaigning for gender equality, pointing out that ‘’when war breaks, women and girls and children suffer untold hardships as they endure sexual violence and other assaults on them.’’
The commissioner recalled that the campaign for the involvement of women in peace and security issues across cultures and societies is an age-long phenomenon.
‘’Efforts made by international organizations, national governments, civil societies, and other community-based organizations around the world, led to the establishment of what we now know as the Women, Peace and Security Agenda through the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325,’’ she added.
She explained that the WPS agenda has four broad-based goals, including accelerating women’s economic empowerment, supporting their role in peace and security processes, advancing women’s political participation and leadership, as well as to eliminating gender-based violence.
In a goodwill message, Dr Lydia Umar, the Executive Director of Gender Awareness Trust (GAT), recalled how women activists collaborated with men for the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law to be enacted in Kaduna state.
She commended Bunun Zazzau and District Head of Doka, Alhaji Balarabe Tijani, for leading in all the advocacy campaign and the then Deputy Speaker Nuhu Shadalalifiya for sponsoring the bill.