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Development Partners Group on Gender re-echo calls for women rights

The Development Partners Group on Gender (DPGG) has re-echoed its stand on the need to promote women’s rights both at the federal and sub-national level.

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They stated this recent during their Development Partners Group on Gender retreat which took place in Abuja recently which was funded by Ford Foundation and facilitated by Habiba Balogun of HBC.

The DPGG is one of the largest multisectoral gender and women empowerment accountability group in Nigeria, and is made up of multilateral, bilateral, Foundations, international NGOs and government MDA working to promote gender equality and women empowerment in Nigeria.

Currently co-chaired by ActionAid Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, with UNWomen as the secretariat, the DPGG has been in existence for over a decade and has been working on supporting the work by state and non-state actors in advancing gender equality in Nigeria.

The event served as an opportunity to celebrate progress of the group, says the Co-Chair of the group Head of Programmes, ActionAid Nigeria, Ms. Nkechi Ilochi-Kanny.

Speaking at the event, Patience Ekeoba, the National Programme Officer, UNWomen and the secretariat of the group stated that the DPGG is a coordination and accountability space that works at ensuring the apex gender machinery – Federal Ministry of Women Affairs is supported by the donor community to drive the gender agenda.

The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi and the UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Beatrice Eyong in their remarks appreciated the group for the work they are doing in the country and committed to continue to support the group in pushing the group’s request and agenda using other spaces such as the National Development Partners Group and Key Political Partners Group, which are spaces led by Heads of Agencies and Ambassadors in the country.

Ene Obi urged the group to continually use their voice and resources in promoting a new Nigeria where women and girls enjoy their rights without fear. Beatrice on the other hand, encouraged the group not to be deterred by the resistance and pushbacks around women’s rights in the country, noting that changing social norms cannot be achieved without struggle.

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Further reiterating the goal of the retreat, Edo Ekate representing the co-chair, Funke Oladipo from the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs stated that the Ministry is pleased to have the support of the donor community and pledged to continue to ensure effective implementation of the national gender priorities as defined in the National Gender Policy.

The event, which was a hybrid had representation from World Food Program, British Council Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption project, World Bank, Pallidum, UNDP, CUSO international, UNESCO, Global Affairs Canada, ActionAid Nigeria, CBM Global Nigeria, CAFOD Nigeria, Embassy of Ireland, Pan African, IPAS, Christian Aid, USAID, Ford Foundation and many other agencies.

At the end of the two-day retreat, the group reaffirmed its stance on advancing gender equality and set up new actions that it will focus on in the coming years.

These includes continued support to the promotion of the gender equality agenda in Nigeria through coordination, policy influencing and agenda setting to limit duplication of interventions, reduction of double dipping, while increasing the group’s visibility in the country.

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