A non-governmental organisation, She4She Initiative for Women and Girl Child Empowerment, has expressed worry over the high rate of exclusion of women in leadership and elective position in the country.
The group noted that after two decades of uninterrupted democratic governance, the lack of effective participation and representation of women in the electoral process and politics has remained a major challenge for Nigeria’s democracy.
The founder of She4She Initiative, Barr Oyanbo Peace Owei who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a workshop titled: “Participation of Women in Election and Politics” said the exclusion of women in the political process has for long been hinged on the system of patriarchy, religious and traditional stereotypes, the culture of violence and prohibitive campaign finances.
“For example, in the 9th National Assembly, there are only seven women out of 109 senators and 22 women out of the 360 House of Representatives members. This is a 1.48 per cent drop in female representation when compared to the 8th Assembly. There are only 51 women of the 990 State Houses of Assembly members across the 36 states,” she said.
The objective of the programme according to her was to “Identify challenges affecting the political participation of young women and strategize to increase their involvement and inclusion, develop mentorship and empowerment plans for the young women, strengthen the advocacy capacity of young women in Nigeria to increase their engagement in political party processes and activities.”
While a limited number of women have over the years struggled to surmount the barriers to women exclusion, she said the same cannot be said of young women who face double form of exclusion both as a woman and as a young person.
On her part, the assistant director, Gender Relations INEC, Habiba Jetto said INEC is committed to conducting free, fair, credible, and inclusive election in the 2023 general election.
Jetto said the commission is also determined as usual to create enabling environment for all eligible citizens irrespective of gender to exercise their constitutional rights and duties to vote and be voted for in any election.
Also, Hon Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, described the theme of the workshop as apt. She stressed the need for the views and votes of women to count. She also urged women to seek better bargains when politicians come to them to solicit for vote.
Source : Leadership