From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A coalition of advocay groups in Nasarawa State has urged government at all levels to involve more women and Persons Living With h Disabilities (PLWDs) in the decision making process of government to ensure inclusivity.
Speaking on Wednesday, representative of the group, Mr Emmanuel Okolo said vulnerable groups such as women, girls , youths and PLWDs were fundamental cornerstone in the pursuit of a more just and equitable society, hence should be included in the decision making process of government.
Okolo, who is the Executive Director (ED), Beacon Youth Initiative ( BYI) urged the government to invest in disaster preparedness initiatives as a mitigative strategy for flooding and other forms of disasters that may affect the society.
According to him, closing the gender gap would need fair inclusion of women, girls, and PLWDs in the development of climate change policies.
” Women, men , youth and other vulnerable groups should have access to, participate in, contribute to and optimally benefit from climate change initiatives, programmes, policies. The government needs to seek their inputs when designing programmes.
“Investment should be made in local community driven adaptations and solutions because women have developed several coping solutions to the environmental problems,” he said.
Okolo pointed out that the Nasarawa State was suffering from the effects of climate crises, including flooding, a prolonged period of rain, and insect infestation, among others, which in his opinion had resulted in eviction, the loss of life, and the destruction of property worth millions of naira.
“As the rains approach, the threat of flooding in communities within the state becomes real once again and vulnerable groups such as women and young girls, youths and women with disabilities will once again be the first to experience the negative consequences of these crises.
“Women and girls face disruption in access to education, limited access to sexual and reproductive health care, already limited economic opportunities are further reduced and their vulnerability to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is increased,” he said.
He, therefore appealed to the federal government to employ more women, youths and PLWDs in its Ministries , Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) such as Ministry of Environment, the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), National Environmental Standards & Regulations Agency among others to ensure a gender balance and inclusiveness.
The Voice reports that the World Population day with the theme “Unleashing the Power of Gender Equality: Uplifting the Voice of Women and Girls to Unlock a World’s Infinite Possibilities” was organised by Beacon Youth initiative in partnership with Education as a Vaccine (EVA) with support from African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET).