Nigerian Women has decried the low representation of women in politics, as the number of women elected has taken a downward trend.
The President, Women in Politics Forum, Barrister. Ebere Ifendu made the remarks in Abuja at the National Conference on Women’s Political Participation in Nigeria: Post-2019 General Election.
She said over the years, women has suffered gross neglect, discrimination and exclusion arising from numerous challenges that hinder their optimum participation.
Similarly, Barrister. Ebere noted that the poor representation of women in politics calls for concern and need to be addressed, as other countries have made tremendous improvement in the area of women participation.
“The overall level of representation of women in politics is not encouraging, as the number of women elected into the National and state assemblies has experienced a downward trend. Nigeria is below the table in this regards”.
According to her, 67 out of 2,970 women that contested elections into various positions were elected, which amount to 4.17% of elected officials.
“This is a decline from 2015 general election in which elected women constituted 5.6%.”
She thereby urged participants to critically examine what must have gone wrong, develop structural strategies, and also outline action plans to enable robust engagement of women in politics ahead of 2023 general elections.
First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari Represented by the Ex-Deputy Governor, Plateau State, Dr. Pauline Tallen explained that it is high time women get up from their slumber, act and take their rightful place.
“It is time to reduce the talking and move into actions” she said.
Furthermore, she stated that women can only succeed with the support of the men particularly their husbands.
“We are in a man’s world and cannot succeed without them”.
Meanwhile, she urged all stakeholders in the polity to give women in politics a voice, amend electoral laws where necessary and also emulate other countries.
“We call on political parties, and INEC chairman, to do what his counterparts are doing in other countries and emulate them.
“We demand that Mr. President give women in politics a quota system and amend electoral laws” she added.
Also speaking at the event, the UN Women Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey acknowledged the resilience and courage of all women who participated in the 2019 elections.
She noted that the conference is aimed at reflecting on the lessons learnt in the last election , which is key to enable them prepare ahead for the 2023 polls.
“Reflecting on what worked and what did not work is crucial to enable us to continue supporting women’s participation and prepare the upcoming 2023 general elections and beyond” she said.
Ms. Lamptey highlighted some of the significant structural barriers that need to be addressed as, limited access to financial resources, exclusion of women for winnable seats within political parties, and violence against women in politics, public and private life