WRAPA participates in the National Assembly Open Week 2018.
The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), participated in the 2018 edition of the National Assembly Open Week, which happens to be its maiden edition. The week-long program took place at the National Assembly, three arms zone, Abuja. In attendance were 2 Constituents each from all the senatorial districts and federal constituencies (469), State Assemblies, CSOs/NGOs especially those with legislative bias, members of the Private Sector, Media groups and Organizations, Committees of the National Assembly, Researchers/academia, Traditional Representatives/religious leaders, Development partners, MDAs, Judiciary, Trade Unions/Pressure Groups, Students and Student Groups, Nigerians in Diaspora and Lobby Groups.
The event was put together by the National Institute for Legislative & Democratic Studies (NILDS) with the intension of broadening the public’s understanding of legislative functions and processes as well as interface with legislators and staff. The event was also put together to highlight the good work being done by the National Assembly in its Advancement of Legislative Openness. The event also created an avenue for interaction between legislators and key stakeholders (legislative monitoring civil society organizations, media, traditional rulers and socio-cultural groups from the six geo-political zones), bridged the gap and addressed the perennial negative public perception of legislators. In addition, the event also hoped to improve public confidence in democratic institutions, particularly the legislature.
The highlight of the participation of the Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA) was on the 19th of July, 2018, day 4 of the program which featured an Interactive Session with Women Groups on Elections and Gender Mainstreaming, chaired by Sen. Abiodun Olujimi, the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate. All female legislators of the National Assembly made up the panel for discussion. The session was coordinated by Hon. Stella Ngwu, Chairperson, House Committee on Women and Social Development, major participants at this session were; National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Women CSOs present (WRAPA inclusive) and Development Partners.
The Interactive Session with Women Groups on Elections and Gender Mainstreaming highlighted the near absence of women from legislative and leadership positions in Nigeria democratic system and the hinderance of public laws and policies to change this narrative. Women were also challenged to run for/take up leadership positions and support each other in the cause of doing so. The rest of the participants were also sensitized on the dire need for the inclusion of women in our democratic system, hinging on the fact that sustainable development cannot be achieved without women in development processes.