Sep 24, 2009, 6:24 AM
The Vice-President and Minister of Women Affairs, Isatou Njie Saidy, has said that in spite of the significant progress achieved over the years in the promotion of gender equity and equality, the lack of adequate human resource capacity has continued to undermine the effective participation of women in the development process, as well as efforts to institutionalise gender mainstreaming at all levels of society.
"The issue of capacity building is, therefore, critical to our fight for gender equity and equality. Not only will it bring about the behavioural and attitudinal changes necessary for sustaining the fight against gender disparities and inequalities, but it will also empower women and men to make informed choices and decisions concerning their lives and society in general," she said.
Mrs. Njie Saidy was speaking at the opening of a two-day validation workshop for the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre Gender Training Tool Kit.
She said one of the key challenges facing the fight for gender equity and equality in our countries is the lack of adequate capacity to conduct thorough gender planning and analysis, and to carry out effective gender mainstreaming in national policies, strategies and programmes.
According to her, capacity building has the potential to strengthen us in our daily struggles to bridge the gender gap, and create an ideal and enabling environment for our women folk to live dignifying and fulfilling lives.
"It is for this reason that I find this workshop timely, and I would like to commend the ECOWAS Gender Development Center for its foresight and leadership in preparing this training tool kit for capacity building on gender and development in the ECOWAS region," she added.
She further commended the center for its leading role in building institutional and human resource capacity in ECOWAS member states.
The gender training tool kit, she went on, will in no small way contribute to the resources and on-going efforts in the ECOWAS region for the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment.