Participants at a just-ended ECOWAS regional workshop on Gender and Elections have advocated the adoption of relevant laws for gender equality in electoral matters.
In a communique at the end of a three-day Training on Gender and Elections in Lomé, Togo made available, on Wednesday, in Abuja, the participants called for mobilisation of citizens to promote gender equality in election related issues, including conflict prevention and resolution, as well as in post-conflict peace building processes in the region.
On their part, the participants pledged to sensitise rural women to participate actively in Togo’s presidential and general elections.
In her speech at the closing ceremony, Togo’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Ekoue Dede expressed gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for organising the training and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) for its support.
The ECOWAS Director of Gender, Dr. Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, also commended participants for the quality of their contributions to the workshop, which was facilitated by the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) programme.
She further urged the participants to publicize the knowledge they acquired at the training, which was organised by the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the Togolese Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, also addressed deficiencies in advocacy capacities of women as a constituent.
The training also incorporated elements of political leadership and dialogue towards promoting gender equality in national political representation.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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