Women in Governance

A main objective of the Oxfam Novib Livelihood and Governance Programme (ONLAG) is to increase the participation of women in local governance structures. The project engages Community Development Committees (CDC), which are the officially recognized arm of government at the community level. LITE-Africa established the Community Development Council Advisory Committee (CDCAC) tasked with lobbying for constitutional changes that mandate 30% of elective position in CDCs for women.

Women have been constrained from participating in political life due to time limitations from domestic and income generating activities, lack of skills including literacy and the misconception that women do not possess the same ability to lead as men. Despite these factors, through ONLAG we have recorded milestones in increasing women's participation:

  • Through our gender sensitization workshops, we secured verbal commitments from leaders in Uzere and Enhwe communities (Isoko South LGA, Delta State) to create space for women in local governance.
  • In Uzere community, women were included as part of the communities Marriage Committee as a result of advocacy efforts on the part of Women Support Networks. This intervention also saw the election of a woman as Sub-Treasurer of the Uzere CDC, the first woman to hold a position in the communities CDC Executive.
  • In Enhwe community, a woman was appointed Assistant Financial Secretary of the CDC and steps are being taken for the appointment of three additional women into the CDC.

To continue along this trend, LITE-Africa will provide leadership, advocacy and negotiation training to members of the WSNs and CDCACs. We will also continue to extend literacy training to project beneficiaries and gender sensitization to both male and female community members in the 20 project communities of Delta and Bayelsa States. 

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