THE Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) says having stakeholders participate in the co-development of ideas, solutions and responsibilities is vital to deepening gender equality advocacy in the Niger Delta region.
“We cannot afford to be disconnected in vision and purpose at this critical times as the beginning of the sustainable development goal number 5 that we all yearn for in the region lies in effective dialogue and shared learning,” said Tunji Idowu, Deputy Executive Director of PIND in Warri, Delta State on Thursday.
“More than ever before, we need dialogue like this ‘Roundtable’ to engage in meaningful discussions required for setting directions together and working smarter together towards gender equality in the Niger Delta,” Idowu said at a Roundtable organized by PIND to mark the 2020 International Day of Women (IWD).
Represented by James Elekwachi, PIND’s Economic Development Manager, he explained that gender mainstreaming was not only about including women as intervention beneficiaries, but also about deliberately addressing issues limiting women’s economic and social well-being.
“That’s why over the years, we have empowered and facilitated opportunities for thousands of women such as access to fit for purpose efficient technologies and also championed women’s issues such as violence against women and girls.
According to him, the 2020 IWD celebration with the theme ” I am generation equality: Realising women’s right, was designed to take stock of the progress made in promoting women’s rights since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, 25 years ago.
The theme of the roundtable was “Realising Women’s Right: Economic and Peace Building Route.
He said the Foundation organized the roundtable with its partners and beneficiaries to take stock of the progress it has made in gender mainstreaming in the last 10 years in the Niger Delta.
Idowu disclosed that PIND’s economic development program grows businesses, boosts productivity and income for small holder farmers and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES).
“To enable integrated peace and economic growth, PIND’s Peace Building program strengthens conflict resolution mechanism and fosters stability through a regional network of peace actors and an early warning and early response structure,” he added.
Speaking at the event, Bose Eitohkpa, a former Capacity Building Manager at PIND and gender specialist called for bridging the gap between those who started the 1995 Beijing Declaration and the new generation so that they can carry on with the struggles.
She recalled all the various programs and activities by the Foundation towards gender mainstreaming and peacebuilding.
According to her, the Foundation has over the years facilitated access of women farmers to new agricultural technology such as demonstration of mechanical adjustable harvesters to oil palm women farmers.
Eitohkpa added that it has also facilitated economic opportunities for young women as well as saw to the establishment of parents’ waiting room and introduced paternity leave for PIND’s men.
She disclosed that PIN, in 2017, assessed progress in gender mainstreaming.
“Based on findings from interviews, desk reviews and key observations, PIND got a rating of MODERATE against the commitments and priorities set in the strategic objectives contained in PIND’s Gender Policy.”
“The assessment noted significant progress in facilitating access to equal opportunities and benefits for women and provided recommendations that would help improve performance going forward.”
PIND is a Nigerian non-profit organization established by Chevron Corporation to build partnerships for peace and equitable economic development in the Niger Delta.