Women have the capacity and resilience to play significant roles in the decision-making process, governance, and nation-building in Africa, some members of the ECOWAS Parliament said Thursday.
Some of them who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the ongoing ECOWAS Parliament delocalised meeting in Monrovia, called for the inclusion of women in the decision-making process at the sub-regional and continental levels.
They noted that the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) had shown the resilience and capacity of women to work as caregivers even to the men during the pandemic.
Hon. Shiaka Sama, a member of parliament from Sierra Leone, said making laws that would allow women access to a level playing field with men in politics should not be seen as a favour but a right.
“If you look at the population of our various countries, women form a bulk of the population. From my country Sierra Leone, more than 51 per cent of Sierra Leoneans is female.
“And if you look at the positions held by women, you have very few women in high places. There have been some improvements over the years but they are still left far behind.
“The few women that are in high positions are doing very well.
“It is high time we promoted the women and began to see them as partners.
“It is time we filled the decision-making process with women and there is no way we can progress as nations and as a continent with women left behind,” Sama said.
Hon. Aime Assine, Head of the Senegalese Delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament said empowering the woman was synonymous with empowering “a whole nation”.
“Empowerment for the woman is very important because … when you want your economy to boom you must empower them.
“They can help build the home, and they are nation builders.
“We are confronted with a lot of obstacles like cultural challenges.
“For example, a woman not being able to inherit land would not be able to go into agriculture easily.
“Another cultural factor affects education where the girl-child is likely to stay at home while the male child goes to school.
“And when a woman does not go to school she definitely has lost out.
“Even in politics, when a woman is not educated, it even becomes more difficult to get a chance in the political scenes,” Assine said. (NAN)