By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
The Bauchi State field office of the USAID funded State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness (State2State) Activity have organised a One Day Dialogue with women groups to mark 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) in the State.
Speaking during the event held at Hazibal Hotel Conference Hall on Tuesday, the State First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed said that Women in Nigeria have proved their value in contributing to National Development.
The first lady, who was represented by Hajiya Zainab Baban Takko said that it is long over due for women to break all barriers that is impeding their aspirations of realizing their full potentials.
She expressed her hope that the dialogue with the Women organizations will come up with practical ways on mitigating some of the challenges being faced by Women in their various field of endeavors.
The first lady also stressed on the need for stakeholders to mentor young girls in their formative years to develop their self esteem and confidence in order to compete favourably with their male counterparts without fear of intimidation or the feeling of being relegated to the background.
Hajiya Mohammed commended USAID State2State for their intervention towards enhancing good governance in Bauchi State which, according to her, is inline with the current administration’s policy thrust of prudent management of resources.
In her goodwill message, the State Chairperson of National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Barrister Shafa’u Ladan, explained that NCWS, since inception, has been on the vanguard in advocating for improved welfare and socioeconomic status of the Nigeria Women.
Speaking on the theme of the 2022 IWD, Ladan said that it is not only apt but long over due.
“My message is that, Nigerian should take a cue from the theme of the 2022 IWD to break all barriers militating against their growth in wherever they find themselves”, said Barrister Ladan.
Earlier in her presentation, the Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) specialist in the USAID State2State field office, Hassana Lawal Bello said that the objective of the event was to dialogue on women participation in public financial management (the barr challenges and way forward).
“Whether it is deliberate or unconscious, biases makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. Action is needed to level the playing field”, said Bello.
There were recommendations from participants on way forward on how to break barriers.
A participant, Ms. Elizabeth Carh was of the view that stakeholders should pay more attention on educating the girl child as a way of building her confidence to compete with her male counterparts.
Also in her suggestions, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Science and Technology Honourable Maryam Garba Bagel advised women vying for elective positions not to accept any free offer of intent forms.
According to the Bagel, “when the time for choosing candidates comes, such people that accept these free forms will be the first casualties. It is better to buy your own intent forms to avoid being schemed out of the race”.
Also, the executive director Rescue Initiative, Lydia John Shehu advised women to rise up and face the challenges hampering their development by acquiring education and participate actively in any vocation they might find themselves in.
In a closing remark, the State Team Lead of USAID State2State, Rabi Ekele thanked the participants for their suggestions and pledged to reach out to reach out to other stakeholders with a view to creating enabling environment towards mitigating all barriers militating against women active involvement in public financial management and other critical areas of governance.
The dialogue attracted women participants from CSOs, political office holders, professional bodies, media and secondary school students.