Canadian government commits N2.6 billion to increase women’s participation in Nigerian politics

The Canadian government has donated the sum of 2.6 billion naira to advance women’s participation in politics in Nigeria.

The donation was announced Monday by James Christoff, Canada’s High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja during a dialogue with traditional leaders, organized by the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria and UN Women.

According to NAN, Mr. Christoff noted that the funds would be disbursed for a period of four years as part of Canada’s Advance Women Political Participation in Nigeria project.

What the Canadian High Commissioner says

He said it was a key priority to have women around the table to play critical roles in decision-making, especially at the political level.

“Canada strongly believes that supporting the empowerment of women and girls is the best way to embrace a peaceful and more prosperous Nigeria.

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“Having women around the table to play a critical role in decision-making, especially at the political level, is a key priority. As custodians of tradition and culture, we recognize the strategic role you can play as traditional leaders.

“Creating an enabling environment by embracing positive attitudes and challenging negative stereotypes of women in politics and encouraging women’s participation at all levels.

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“Through this project to advance women’s political participation in Nigeria, Canada is contributing eight million Canadian dollars, or 2.6 billion naira over four years, to increase the participation, election and appointment of women. in Nigeria during the 2023 election cycle.

“As traditional leaders, we seek your support to advocate for support for women in the upcoming elections, use your influence to promote violence-free elections and speak out against violence against women,” said Mr. Christoff.

Also speaking at the meeting, Mr. Matthias Schmale, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said that achieving inclusive democracy in Nigeria requires full and equitable participation of all citizens, including the women.

  • “The full and effective participation of women in governance and decision-making opportunities is recognized globally as a key driver for achieving sustainable development.
  • “Women make up half of Nigeria’s population and contribute significantly to national and economic development.
  • “Unfortunately, their participation remains insignificant in the formal and informal structures of government where decisions about the use of societal resources generated by men and women are made.
  • “Women’s ability to participate in political life is hampered by many constraints. Negative stereotypes, sometimes perpetuated by culture and tradition, play a real and significant role in the political marginalization of women.
  • “Violence against women in politics and in elections must be addressed with a sense of urgency, especially in the run-up to the 2023 elections.
  • “Royal Highnesses and Majesties, you are key to shifting social norms and driving the critical change needed to end gender-based electoral violence and improve women’s participation in upcoming elections,” said Schmale.