To provide women leaders and those working in the health sector in the Zinder region of Niger with a better understanding of ECOWAS and its achievements in terms of the defense of women’s rights. This was the main objective of the International Women’s Day celebration organized by the ECOWAS Permanent Representation in Niger on March 13 and 14. The highlight of the celebration included an awareness-raising workshop, followed by a cleanliness day with women leaders from the Zinder region.
As part of International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8 every year, the Permanent Representation of ECOWAS in Niger, in collaboration with the ECOWAS Women’s Peace and Security Network (RESPFECO), organized from March 13 to 14, 2021, an awareness-raising workshop, followed by a day of sanitation with women leaders of the Zinder region under the theme “Female Leadership: For an egalitarian future in the world of Covid-19”. This activity which is part of the sensitization planning of the ECOWAS Permanent Representation in Niger lasted two days.
The focus on the first day was to sensitize one hundred (100) women leaders and ten (10) women from the Regional Health Directorate on this year’s selected theme. On the second day, a cleanliness day was organized followed by the distribution of Covid kits to vulnerable people. This activity of the ECOWAS Representation in Niger aimed at providing women leaders and participants of that region with a better understanding of the ECOWAS, equipping them on actions and physical barriers against Covid-19; sharing experiences on women’s leadership, and finally sensitizing on improving the community’s living environment.
These activities pertaining to the celebration were officially launched by the Governor of the Zinder Region, Issa Moussa who seized the opportunity to commend ECOWAS for holding this event which: “enables women to meet and take stock of the efforts made for their empowerment”. The President of the Republic remains attentive to women’s concerns with regard to the legal instruments signed by Niger for their empowerment……Laws adopted on the quota of women up to 25% for elective positions and 30% for appointment positions are quite edifying”, he pointed out before adding that the Government has developed two projects which aim to ensure women’s empowerment in Niger.
The ECOWAS Representative in Niger, together with Mrs. Bana Fatima Moutari, President of the Niger Chapter of RESPFECO, seized the opportunity of her intervention to deliver to the participants the message of solidarity of H.E. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, on this special day.
According to Ambassador Liliane Alapini: “March 8 is an opportunity to take stock of the progress made and the challenges still faced by women with regard to the recognition and protection of their rights”.
This year’s theme for the March 8 celebration, according to Ambassador Liliane Alapini, ” urges us to reflect on the security and health challenges facing our region….. With the COVID-19 health crisis, many women involved in the economy, particularly in the informal sector, have been severely affected by the disruption of their activities, including the disruption of the processing and distribution of agricultural products, the reduction of household incomes, and the reduction of opportunities for the most vulnerable households… … efforts must be made to strengthen access to training, productive and decent employment and social welfare to contribute to access to credit, property, inheritance to natural resources and the development of gender-sensitive infrastructure.”
According to the President of RESPFECO, it is now indisputable that peace, health, and security are prerequisites for the development of Niger.
On the sidelines of this conference, the ECOWAS Representative in Niger went to the Galadimawa district of Birni to hand over a donation consisting of bags of rice, cans of oil and a Covid-19 kit to visually impaired women.
The second day of this celebration organized by the Permanent Representation of ECOWAS in Niger featured a great mobilization of women who undertook a cleanliness action on the main public road leading to the major market of the Zinder region.