Closing of the Spanish Cooperation project, managed by FIIAPP, to promote political participation by women in Niger.
The project to publicise Niger’s Electoral Law in the region of Maradi, has come to a close. Funded by Spanish Cooperation’s APIA Programme (Support for Inclusive Public Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa) and managed by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), its aim was to enhance women’s access to political life in the region, thereby ensuring their participation in the progress of their communities, and with it, to advance towards a more just and developed global community.
The project “Promotion of political participation by the women of Maradi in the exercise of their right of suffrage in the framework of Electoral Politics in Niger” was officially closed at the press conference held in the Nigerien capital, led by the Spanish Ambassador to Niger, Mr José Luis Pardo Cuerdo, and the President of Association de Femmes Juristes de Niger (AFJN), the executing entity for the project, Ms Balkissa Diallo. Also present were representatives of the Nigerien Public Administration (ministries of women’s affairs, justice and interior, etc.), representatives of the United Nations system, bilateral cooperation agencies, as well as pro-women’s rights organisations.
At the press conference, the results were presented and the importance of women’s political participation was discussed, especially in light of the fact that 2016 is an election year in Niger.
As a result of the project, 2,000 people had their awareness raised, 60 women were trained on political leadership, and five women presented their candidacies for political office. Moreover, the experience made it possible to create a guide on political participation that will be distributed among women’s rights organisations so that they can use it as a tool.
In her speech, the President of the AFJN noted that “the fight for gender equality and promotion of women’s rights needs to be a permanent part of Niger’s development agenda. If we want to build more developed, democratic, just and cohesive societies, it will be necessary to incorporate, in a real and effective way, one half of the population, that is, women, in all public and private spaces”.
For his part, the Spanish Ambassador referred to the work that Spanish Cooperation has been doing since its beginnings to promote and defend the rights of women in general, as well as the role that the gender and development sector has occupied, and still occupies, in Spanish Cooperation’s intervention strategy for Niger. It plays an active role in all the essential development sectors with a cross-cutting approach, supporting the Nigerien government in implementation of its National Gender Policy.
With this project, Spanish Cooperation demonstrates its commitment to initiatives that improve women’s access to public life. The participation of African women in public management is a matter of justice and a pre-requisite for inclusive development.