Scrap Women Affairs Ministry Now – CLo Chairman

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A lawyer and chairman, Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Clifford Thomas has called for immediate scrapping of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare both at the federal and state levels.
The lawyers who stated this via mobile phone with our reporter said the Ministry over the years has only under-developed women instead of fulfilling its mandate to empower them and fight for their rights.
Barr. Thomas while reacting to this year’s theme for the International Women’s day “Planet 50/50 in 2030” explained that the theme and all the deliberations around it was only wishful thinking because in  his view women and the ministry were not ready to achieve equal rights for men and women in 2030 such tall dream.
“From the idea where women have to be appointed as Ministers and Commissioners in the ministry, we started missing it because women don’t like develop women.
Rather, a woman will even be more willing to develop men Consider that over 60% of women vote, yet they never produce elected females. In the last governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, only one woman contested; yet she received very little support’ he explained.
The CLO boss noted that while it may be good to borrow an idea from other countries, the content of women affairs should be localized advising that “civil society persons developed with a consciousness of fight for women’s right should be drafted to the ministry, so that they can introduce the intellectual content needed to drive activities in the ministry”.
He posited further that it will serve the greater good of all should the ministry have desks in all the local government areas with a mechanism for monitoring and evaluation to know at every point the success rate or failures of policies.
In his view whenever a failure is spotted during monitoring and evaluation it would be corrected.
In his own reaction, a civil rights activist and Executive Director, Community Policing Partners for justice, security and Democratic reforms, Mr. Saviour Akpan agreed that the management of the ministry was not helping women but did not back the call to scrap it.
According to him scrapping the ministry would amount to shutting down the only avenue from which women could even speak.
He averred that for the ministry to succeed in its mandate, it should no longer be used as a channel to patronize and settle female politicians for any contribution the male politician think they have done.
“If the Ministry of women affairs will work at all, then our male politicians in authority, that is the president or governors should not impose their women in the ministry. We need professionals who are activists, who are sympathetic to the needs of women to take up the challenge of campaigning successfully for women’s right. Any woman just drafted to be commissioner of women affairs without activism background and capacity to drive the ministry’s vision to the grassroots will fail ten times over and this is why you see the problems in women affairs” he explained.
According to him the women affairs ministry should go beyond issues of women alone but discover the ways to handle gender issues in Nigeria.

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