Women Demand More Participation As 17 Get National Assembly Seats

Women in politics in Nigeria have demanded more participation political considerations in the country .

They blamed men over their low participation, saying they were being suppressed despite their contributions to the country .

PLATFORM TIMES gathered that 24 years after the return to democratic rule, women had not got their desired quantity of participation .

Statistics showed that no fewer than 378 women ran for Senate and House of Representatives seats, but only 17 were successful.

It was also gathered that all the current female senators are not returning while seven out of 13 female members of the House in the Ninth National Assembly also lost their re-election bids.

Grassroots politician and former governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Abia State, Hon. Blessing Nwagba, said that Nigeria needs to adopt effective policies that must be implemented to attract more women into politics and decision-making at all levels in public and private affairs.

She said that 35 per cent affirmative action is still a mere policy statement, which is yet to be translated into action.

For her, women have the capacity, competence, and credibility to lead on their merit, if given a fair playing field but a lot of barriers are put in place by the male-dominated society to discourage and emasculate the efforts of women in politics in Nigeria.

Dr Nwagba, a two-time House of Assembly member (Aba North Constituency), who ran for the Senatorial seat for Abia South in the last election, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is aggrieved that Nigeria’s political climate has been hostile with so many barriers for the women that aspire to run for political positions.

“I think one of the factors affecting the campaign/advocacy against gender-based violence in Nigeria is religious and cultural differences. There are some culture that see it as a taboo for women to be heard and some religions condone child marriage.

“The joke is on our men, go to Rwanda where the majority of their parliamentarians are women, and see for yourself how developed that country is despite the fact that they came out from a civil war in 1995,” Dr Nwagba submitted.

Also, Princess Ifeyinwa Anazonwu-Akerele, who ran on the platform of APC, for Anambra North Senatorial seat expressed worry about the constraints against women in politics.

She t that there is need to implement the 35 per cent affirmative action to encourage more women into politics.

Also, the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Young People’s Party, YPP, in the 2019 election, Ummah Getso, said that the constraints working against women in politics are huge, insisting that a lot still needs to be done to attract more women into politics.

“Politics is like a battle or as if you are fighting a war in Nigeria and such cannot attract more women rather will discourage even those that are there.

“There must be deliberate effort to encourage the women, 35 per cent affirmative action must be put to practice not a theory, and there must be some waiver for them in certain areas. There should be an increase also in the appointive position.

“We are simply partners in nation-building and not rivals or competing with the men for the wrong reasons. We simply want to contribute our own quota to bring a balanced, genuine development for our society,” Getso told Sunday Sun.

Also speaking, Princess Ada Ogbu, who was a Senatorial candidate of the APC for Enugu East Federal Constituency, did not mince words in her views.

The politician reiterated the views of many that spoke with Sunday Sun.

She pointed out the hostile political terrain, difficulty in getting the party ticket as a candidate, corruption, the finance to prosecute election, and the unequal opportunity with the male competitors, among others, as obstacles.

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