INEC Seeks Gender Equality

In order to achieve gender equality and inclusiveness ahead of the 2015 general elections and subsequent polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it would integrate gender issues in all electoral programmes.

The commission also assured that its newly developed gender policy would complement the nation’s National Gender Policy.

Ishmael Igbani, INEC National Commissioner made the disclosure during a two-day review of the INEC Draft on Gender Policy in Lagos.

“It is our view that INEC’s internal and external activities must reflect the gender composition of the Nigerian society. Some of the steps taken by the commission include the development of the Draft INEC Gender Policy. The draft gender policy provides a diagnostic outlook on the situation and context of women in Nigeria as well as responsive approaches and implementation strategies that seek to improve the lot of women, particularly in the spheres of political participation,” Igbani said.

While bemoaning the marginalization of women in the scheme of things, Igbani stressed INEC’s commitment to ensuring gender balance.

“In spite of all the charters, protocols, declarations and plans of action, Nigerian women still remain largely marginalized and under-represented in economic and political activities. The INEC gender policy applies to all work and activities throughout the commission, research training, programme planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, human resources management, legal issues and budgeting among others. The policy will achieve and maintain gender balance across the various cadres of personnel within INEC, while mainstreaming gender across the commission’s structure, institutions, policies and practices and ensuring INEC policies, guidelines, curricula, practices and working modalities are compliant with gender equality principles,” he added.

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