Gender Equality

The gender equality program of Development Dynamics is anchored on its work on the Imo State Gender Agenda Process.

Imo State Gender Agenda Process (Imo GAP) in Brief


Nigeria returned to civilian rule on May 29th, 1999. Its effort to institutionalize democratic governance structures and systems since then has been quite challenging with marginal success so far. A key impediment to democratic consolidation in Nigeria has been the low participation of women in the democratic processes.

Imo State is one of the 36 federating states of Nigeria. It is located in the middle of the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is a state with a high population density, and is inhabited mainly by Igbo people. The inhabitants are predominantly subsistent farmers, majority of who are women.

The state is a model of the low participation of women in governance and decision making processes in Nigeria. Imo State has a long history of alienation and exclusion of women from its political life, governance and decision making processes. At present there are just 3 women in the 27 member Imo State House of Assembly.

The men-engineered and men-driven undemocratic and flawed electoral process through which the leadership of the state had emerged since the commencement of civil rule in 1999 might in part explain this near total absence of women in the governance and decision making processes of the State.

A people driven democratic struggle, with the full participation of women prior to the 2011 gubernatorial election in the state, led to the emergence of the first and most popularly elected governor of Imo state, following the creation of the state in 1976. The emergence and assumption of office of the popularly elected governor on the 29th of May 2011 threw open a new atmosphere of legitimacy and freedom in Imo State.


The Imo GAP was conceived as a program to take advantage of the new atmosphere of legitimacy and freedom thrown up in Imo State in the wake of the 2011 gubernatorial election, to bring the issues of women and children in the state into greater visibility at the legislative and policy levels.


The process has four broad and related objectives including:

  1. To bring the representatives of the women of Imo State and the legislators in the Imo State House of Assembly to a round table quarterly to discuss legislative issues of importance to the women and children in the state.

  2. To facilitate the articulation of periodic legislative agenda by the women and legislators on issues important to women and children.

  3. To identify and undertake common advocacy initiatives for the enactment of law and passage of resolutions that will impact positively on the lives of women and children.

  4. To establish a Gender Technical Unit (GTU) in the Imo State House Assembly (IMHA) that shall provide technical support to the Gender Agenda Process and enhance gender sensitivity in the processes of the IMHA.


The Imo GAP involves the facilitation of quarterly meetings involving the representatives of the Women of Imo State and the legislators in the Imo State House of Assembly to discuss and review issues important to the women and children in the state. It also involves the establishment of the GTU in the IMHA with requisite man power and facilities to animate the process and follow up on the implementation of the decisions of the quarterly meetings.


The Imo GAP inaugural meeting was held on Friday, 29th July 2011. It had in attendance 113 persons representing 29 organizations.

Imo House of Assembly was represented by 5 members including:

  1. Hon. Donatus Ozoemena, Deputy Speaker, who represented the Speaker and himself;

  2. Hon. AdakuIhuoma, Majority Leader, who chaired the meeting;

  3. Hon. Ngozi Pat-Ekeji, Minority Leader;

  4. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo, Chief Whip; and Hon. Obinna Okwara, Chair, House of Committee on Lands.

The deliberations at the meeting were fruitful, and a six point commitment on focused areas of legislative intervention as made by the legislators were adopted by the meeting at plenary. The first quarterly Review Meeting was held on Friday, 28th October 2011 where the progress reports on the six point commitment was reviewed. A major output of the review meeting was the adoption of the proposed Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill in fulfillment of the first of the six point commitment.

Subsequent review meetings have held as scheduled.

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