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DeltaWomen

October Issue
World over, women are the greater part of the segments of society that flee from the scene of conflicts. With most of the men folk taking to the armed forefronts, women find themselves being made the sole breadwinner of their families. Coupled with the economic considerations, there is always the looming threat of sexual violence. Oftentimes, the bodies of women become the battleground, as combatants and non-combatants exploit women sexually.

The

Newsletter

CEO

Elsie Ijorogu-Reed

Editorial Coordinator
Kirthi Jayakumar

Writers and Contributors


Achilla Imchen, Rohit Kumar and Stephanie Smith

Designer

Mohanad Abdelnabi Newsletter by Deltawomen NGO.

Considering this, it is absolutely imperative that women be made an integral part of the process of preventing conflicts, and part of democratic and peacekeeping roles. Although this would contribute heavily towards protecting women, the ground reality is that the inclusion of women in pre and post conflict measures has been ignored largely. A UNSC Resolution (Res 1325 in 2000) worked to urge all the member states to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict. Aside of reflecting the evident lack of the involvement of women in dealing with conflict, the resolution also showed signs of being a proactive initiation of the process. However, the situation a decade since shows

no signs of improvement, or abatement. Consequently, a recent endeavour was made by the Security Council, with a host of deliberations that discussed the means that may be deployed

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to effectively implement Resolution 1325. The frugal to non-implementation of the resolution boils down to the question of policy. The involvement of women in the process of peace-building and peace-keeping, as also in the active political trajectory of a state is largely up to the state itself, and its policies vis-a-vis women. In most parts of the world, women find themselves inadequately equipped and inadequately represented. Furthermore, in several post conflict regions, women find themselves in a situation of fear, and in a situation where they are placed as sole breadwinners, and thinking of participation in the political process is far too distant a proposition. Where the fear factor goes, most women believe that participation in a vociferous political framework might bring them more harm. This is especially true in the context of the Democratic Republic of Congo. When women are forced to be sole breadwinners by circumstance, they are obligated to put their

families first. This often makes them want to reach out to things that would benefit their families more than anything else. Consequently, these women wind up either voting for leaders who offer them sops and freebies but no future plans of empowerment, or wind up staying outside the political framework in search of a means of livelihood that could provide for their families. This is particularly true in DR Congo and Zimbabwe, and to some extent in Nigeria. Involving women in the peace process is not easy, and is certainly not free of obstacles. A strong commitment is needed from the states themselves, to determinedly keep its women safe, and offer them a good social standing. On the part of the women, as hard as it might be, it is necessary that they put all their trust in themselves, to take a leap of faith.

By Elsie

Measures have been Nigeria lags far behind in women political established to promote gender parity in the participation on the African continent, with very low female representation in leadership positions in national and local political institutions. Since the 1990s, women activists and groups in Nigeria have been advocating for increase in the number of women in the political space. In recent years, notably in the last decade, it would seem that some improvement has been made in this area. After the 2007 elections, data from the National Centre for Women Development showed that there were 9 female senators,

Gender in Political Representation

compared to 4 in 2003. The proportion of seats held by women in the National Parliament also increased from 3.1 per cent in 2000 to 7.5 per cent in 2008.

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countrys political participation. A national gender policy was formulated to promote a 35% affirmative action for women in political space (a policy that demands 35 percent involvement of women in all governance processes). After the 2007 general elections, for the first time, Nigerian women were elected to posts of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Ministers and other key offices.

out of 469 members. Data from the election suggests that in all political parties, few women were elected to contest seats, and women who were selected were given seats that were hard to win. The systemic disparity in political participation needs to be considered in the context of the larger patriarchal Nigerian society, where women do not often receive the mentoring and support they need to compete with their male counterparts. While the constitutions of most parties commit to gender affirmative action, few have met the 35% target. At a macro level, Nigeria has signed up to most of the global agreements on gender equality, but have yet to translate those commitments into action on the ground.

Nigerian women, however, still have a long way to go not only in national elective politics, but also in representation at sub-national and local elected positions, such as school management committees. Data from the 2011 general election show that regression is possible in the positive inroads already made. For example, in the 2011 election, female candidates fared poorly, with only 32 women elected to the national parliament By Achilla

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Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. But the conundrum is, will democracy be good for womens rights? The answer is yes. Womens contribution is vital to building successful democracies and thriving societies in developing states, not only in Africa, but in the whole world. In all discussions of democratization, the question of women crops up.

Women and democracy

Social and political movements gaining momentum in the North Africa in early 2012 appear to be opening the door for democracy; initially progressive revolutions do not often result in sustained improvements for womens rights. While Egyptian women have been crucial in the revolutions that have shattered the status quo, their role in the future development of their own countries remains unclear. In Tunisia, the fear was that women will be sucked into an ideological and religious tug-of-war over their rights, By Rohit Kumar reducing the complexities of democratization into a binary secular/non-secular battle. Across the African region, and from the streets

to official decision-making spaces, there is a resounding call for new overarching political frameworks in which to women engagement and make decisions about their collective lives, more recent winds of change seem to be blowing in a favorable direction for Tunisian women. The commission responsible for planning the elections has voted for parity between men and women on the candidate lists the first step in establishing a clear-cut role for women in building a government and constitution The radical move to guarantee womens 50% representation in Tunisias politics is a fresh kind of revolution for women in Africa.

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Campaign Round Up
Medical supplies were donated to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in St Patricks College, Asaba Delta State. The NGO was represented by the CEO, Mrs Elsie Ijorogu-Reed at the Regional Dialogue on Renewably Energy Technology for Increased Agricultural Productivity and Sustainable Development in Abuja, Nigeria. A platform that showed promises for a bright future. Within the same month, Okuijorogu was agog as the CEO and her team stormed the community. It will be recalled that Okuijorogu community in Okpe Local Government Council of Delta state is totally left out in the sheme of educational activities, which was the reason the team visited. After a brief meeting with the Elders as regards their request for a school which the NGO is at the fore front, Mrs Reed did not leave it there, as she also dished out Notes books, Pencils and Biro to the community children. More so, the NGOs team visited Ugba Primary School, Onicha-Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Council still in Delta state. However, the dilapidated picture posted on the internet neccessitated the visit, to see how the NGO could help the community in making the school a standard one.

NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND


At Delta women NGO, we see ourselves as a partner for progress to our women. We work with them to discover their unique abilities, talents and potentials. Our drive is to build in our women the essential skills required to do business in a world class way, making them creators of their own destiny and pillars of transformation in our society. The NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND campaign needs YOUR support. Help Deltawomen by providing women the Technical and Vocational Skills Acquisition to overcome the challenges in todays world so that they can be useful to themselves rather than be used as agents of violence.

FREE EYE TEST


The Deltawomen Eye-Care Campaign in the Delta State serves to provide free glasses and eye check-ups. Our upcoming free eye test is going to be held on the 29th of December in Igbanke, Edo State, Nigeria.

WELCOME, NEW VOLUNTEERS


Deltawomen welcomes 10 new volunteers, who join our team this month to work on our various projects.

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