OrderPaperToday – The Nigeria Director, ONE Campaign, Ms. Sarah Makka- Ugbabe, has advised women not to be deterred by the difficulties in political participation, saying pity and sentiments cannot win the debate on gender equality in politics and the policy development process.

Ms. Makka-Ugbabe spoke on Friday at the maiden webinar series on ‘Women in Parliament and Policy Development’ organized by OrderPaper Nigeria in collaboration with WeWe Network Afrique to focus on “21 years of democracy in Nigeria and the place of women.”

According to her, “life is a game and the game is not going to say ‘eyaah you are a man or woman.’ Just because you are a woman does not mean you will get automatically nominated or elected. We know that 51% of voters in Nigeria are women and there are many variables why a woman or man loses election”.

Her submission was supported by the Chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on Women in Parliament, Mrs. Olukemi Taiwo Oluga, who said despite the challenges out there, women must brace up and fight for their place in place because “winning elections is not bread and butter.”

Speaking on the issue of education on women empowerment and mentorship, the Nigeria Director ONE Campaign said: “Social media is a spring board for education. There is no payment for getting information online, so women should go online to get information. We need to educate the minds of future women but again, men do a lot of mentorship and so we need to see more women undergo a lot of mentorship. The onus is on us to find a channel to undergo that mentorship.”

Also speaking on the sustainability and reviewing of the gender policy and implementation, Mrs. Makka-Ugbabe said “the policy has been in place since 2016, how many of us have been able to go through the document yet we are agitating for new laws and policy.

“Nonetheless, implementation of policy is another thing, activation of these policies are very important, and it is another thing to implement the policies properly.”

The panel was moderated by Mr. Oke Epia, Executive  Director of OrderPaper Nigeria and Ms. Adaora Onyechere, broadcast journalist and Executive Director of WeWe Network Afrique while dotCivics provided technological support.

The event which was streamed live on the verified Facebook page of OrderPaper, had participation from advocates for women empowerment, civil society groups, journalists, professional and interest groups and others from the legislature and the executive.

Read the outcome document of the webinar here

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