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COVID-19: ‘Women’s concerns remain unaddressed’

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Governments at all levels in Nigeria have been urged to develop specific protection and support for women and girls in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This call was made on Wednesday 13th May, 2020 by panellists at Plan International Nigeria’s webinar on the topic: Women, Girls and COVID-19: Issues, Impact and Opportunities for Gender Responsive SocialTransformation.

The panel discussion of five, hosted by Plan International Nigeria’s Country Director, Dr Hussaini Abdu, noted that there has not been sufficient attention paid to issues specific to women. According to the discussants who include the Special Advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments Programme, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, many women, especially those in crisis-affected communities are in double jeopardy as they have to now contend with health issues in addition to the challenges of coping with insecurity and internal displacement.

While the panellists acknowledged that effort had been made by the government to respond to the economic and other social challenges posed by the pandemic, it was also noted that some of the efforts came out late and inadequate, especially as they do not pay attention to issues affecting women.

Other panel discussants, which include the Director, Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan; Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Nigeria, Ramatu Budah Aliyu; Senior Gender Equality Advisor, Plan International Nigeria, Obianuju Osude and Programme Director, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, observed that some of the concerns noted about the response arose because “We are always a latecomer with slow response”.

“We have a health system that is small and fragile that cannot attend to the need of the people. The pandemic has hit the vulnerability and fragility of our system”, noted the panellists who called for an urgent and strategic response including increase in the budgetary allocation to the health sector.

“We need to declare a national emergency situation in the health sector in Nigeria. Now people with other life-threatening conditions and women in need of special need are being neglected. We need to localise our responses and look inward. The need for stronger public and private collaboration in the health sector” the panellists advised.

Emphasising the grim situation facing women across the country, the panelists noted that “before the pandemic women were already disadvantaged. Now women are more disadvantaged. The health burden and mortality rate of women post-pandemic is going to increase.  The informal sector which is the most affected bears the face of women.”

The special Advisor to the President on Social Investment Programme, Maryam Uwais admitted the need to improve on the response system, admitting that the cash transfer palliative used the social register that was developed before the present health crisis which made it impossible for other needy persons to be reached, she however revealed that the register was being updated to address the existing gaps.

“The social register has not correctly covered the entire country. That process has been on since the cash transfer system began since 2016. It’s a tedious but meticulous process. The social register as the avenue to reach vulnerable people during crisis will make it impossible to reach everywhere.

“The register was done basically with the state apparatus. It is dependent on the political will of the state governors.

“Using it as palliative completely marginalises the communities that have not been reached. I understand the register is being transformed to include areas we don’t have a register yet,” Uwais confirmed.

The CDD Director, Idayat Hassan expressed regrets that many Nigerians still do not believe that COVID-19 was real. “People still do not believe that it (COVID-19) is real. It is still about the distrust in the system. People think it is another oil boom for public officials”, she said. She blamed historical poor accountability and corruption for the lack of trust in government from the people who do not believe that COVID-19 was real but a means for personal enrichment.

She called on government to work harder to get the trust of the people as it was only through the cooperation of the people that the disease would be defeated.

Cynthia Mbamalu of YIAGA Africa and Obianuju Osude of Plan International both lamented how gender blind the government’s response to the pandemic has been.

“Gender sensitive response strategy to the pandemic is what we need right now. We need to be futuristic in our law making and planning because even in the attempt by the legislators to respond to the pandemic, the legislation is still largely like before; it doesn’t address specific needs of women and children,” said Cynthia.

On her part, Obianuju said: “The involvement of women is not coming out as would be expected. We do not have the gender aggregated data on the beneficiaries. There are other women who already have certain conditions before the pandemic such as HIV; we are not seeing a strategy that addresses their concern.”

She further advised that there is an urgent “need to strengthen the protection system for the informal sector where the women are mostly engaged. There is also the need to address the issue of gender concerns in the digital space. This includes issue of capacity and gender transformative messaging.”

UNICEF’s Ramatu Budah Aliyu commended the cash transfer initiative of the federal government which paid significant attention to women-led households but said same could not be said of the food distribution.

She said: “For food aid, male households are the key focus apart from cash transfer from the federal government that uses the social register.”

To address this, she advised that “we need to engage more with the system that our communities know and engage people through them. We need to engage more with women in our communities.”

GidiNews is exclusively designed to cover and report Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital city. We bring you news updates, reports, opinions and analyses in Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Crime, Health and Education among others. GOT NEWS FOR US? Reach us: +2349090870065, +2348055441309

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NEWS

JANDOR UNLEASHES TERROR ON INNOCENT LAGOSIANS.

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The Apc lagos state chapter have have called on security agency to check mate and bring to book the unscruptilous activities of the pdp governorship candidate Mr Adediran Olajide popularly know as jandor on the citizen of lagos state as he campaigned across the state .

The spokeman of Apc , hon seye oladejo in a press release made avsilable to gidinews .com ststed that :

Our attention has been drawn to the reign of terror unleashed on innocent and law abiding citizens of Lagos state by the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming national elections, Jide Adediran, otherwise known as Jandor in the course of his campaign in Surulere Local Government Council of the state.
The incident left in its wake several maimed victims and three people reportedly sent to their untimely death.
We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.
Lagos cherishes it’s enviable status as the safest state in the country which has been as a result of long running and painstaking investment in security through the provision of the wherewithal and incentives for security agencies.
We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of voters as we count down to the elections.
It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting anarchy and violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.
It will be recalled that the suspect has been busy in the past days crying wolves in the media as he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.
While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood potential voters.
We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident , bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.
We urge Lagosians to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.

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RELIGIOUS CLERGY in Ajeronmi ifelodun Endorsed PDP HON RITA ORJI …

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….Offer Prayers for her .

The clergies of the Mission street Islamic group and the Episcopal church of Cherubim and seraphim worldwide endorsed the pdp candidate of Ajeronmi Ifelodun Hon Rita Orji as their candidate on Friday .

The Most Rt Rev Judah Adeogo Oluwole spiritual head of the Episcopal church during the ilaje day at the church called out the pdp candidate for a specail prayers for her victory ,according Rev Adeogo ,

“we have always seen the dividened of democracy when you were the house of Representative in Ajeronmi ifelodun our people have always sing your praises , now that you are on a journey back to the hallow chamber , we will support you and vote for you ,because you have always remember us ”

Hon Rita Orji , appreciated the church and its most Rev for always look out for her every time , she assured the congregation that more will come their way if voted as back to the green floor , she retraced her last election woe on the rigging aspect of the Apc in 2019 , but she said it will never be business as usual, as she urged them to get their PVCs which will assured and seal her victory .

Hence , the pdp candidate hon Rita Orji meet with the muslim clergy at the mission street hall , where she also spoked on the essence of making Ajegunle a better place for all , she called on the clergies to always state on the path of truth as they pray for a better Nigeria . prayers were offered for her victory as Election drew near .

The pdp candidate have embarked on ward to ward campaign since pronounced as the right candidate of pdp Federal Constituency by the high court and inec.

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NEWS

JANDOR UNLEASHES TERROR ON INNOCENT LAGOSIANS.

Published

on

The Apc lagos state chapter have have called on security agency to check mate and bring to book the unscruptilous activities of the pdp governorship candidate Mr Adediran Olajide popularly know as jandor on the citizen of lagos state as he campaigned across the state .

The spokeman of Apc , hon seye oladejo in a press release made avsilable to gidinews .com ststed that :

Our attention has been drawn to the reign of terror unleashed on innocent and law abiding citizens of Lagos state by the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming national elections, Jide Adediran, otherwise known as Jandor in the course of his campaign in Surulere Local Government Council of the state.
The incident left in its wake several maimed victims and three people reportedly sent to their untimely death.
We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.
Lagos cherishes it’s enviable status as the safest state in the country which has been as a result of long running and painstaking investment in security through the provision of the wherewithal and incentives for security agencies.
We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of voters as we count down to the elections.
It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting anarchy and violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.
It will be recalled that the suspect has been busy in the past days crying wolves in the media as he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.
While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood potential voters.
We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident , bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.
We urge Lagosians to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.

Continue Reading

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