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Akin Fadeyi Foundation unveils initiative to promote women participation in governance

Akin Fadeyi Foundation unveils initiative to promote women participation in governance
July 12
13:02 2022

Akin Fadeyi Foundation (AFF) is set to launch ‘What Women Can Do’ – a competition geared towards increasing women participation in governance.

In a statement on Tuesday, Akin Fadeyi, AFF executive director, said the competition seeks to tap into the potential of women as significant social actors and stimulate gender-inclusive leadership.

He said the competition, which kicks off with a media dialogue on July 19, will speak to the low participation of women in the just-concluded political parties’ primaries.

“This gathering will speak to and unearth the huge possibilities that remain unleashed in the country with the loud absence of the participation of women in the public space especially after the just concluded party primaries,” Fadeyi said.

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“It is also an affirmation of the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion programme thrust of our Funders, the MacArthur Foundation. ‘What Women Can Do’ will speak to how leadership would be a lot more impactful when women are empowered to act as equal stakeholders in national development.

“The ultimate objective of this programme will be to encourage women to endure in their leadership ambitions despite the present turns in Nigerian politics, to re-affirm their capabilities as equally endowed social actors who are not intellectually subordinate in any way, and to stimulate public conversation on the need for gender parity in the access to power.

“The Akin Fadeyi Foundation is motivated by the understanding that while Nigeria has never been in lack of high quality women who can play major progressive roles in politics, a number of factors have skewed the system against women from earlier times. These not only include pervasive norms and cultural beliefs that emphasise the subordinate position and roles of women in society.”

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Fadeyi said the competition will feature women who will “make leadership pitches” and speak to any topic of interest “from agriculture to education, healthcare, power generation, science and innovation”.

“The top five finalists will be rewarded with different gifts on basis of the strength, innovativeness, uniqueness and acceptability of their pitches. Another set of five finalists will go away with consolation prizes,” he said.

“More recently, this has been buttressed by the patriarchal configuration of institutions and systems that have set up unreasonable standards that delimit the access and participation of women in the consequential public space. This was more recently evident in the influence of money on our political process, making it difficult for women to get involved without serious sponsors, which is certainly hard to come by as an altruistic proposition.”

Fadeyi added that the AFF will “deepen its work on political and social accountability” through the deployment of the FlagIt app for the monitoring and reporting of the 2023 elections.

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