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ElectHer projects $10m fund to support women in 2023 elections

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Abosede George-Ogan

A non-partisan organisation advocating for more women participation in politics, ElectHer, has set up a $10 million fund of which it had already secured $2 million to empower women and directly fund, not less than 35 women to decide, run and win in the coming 2023 general elections.

Co-Founders and Executive Directors of the organisation, Ibijoke Faborode and Abosede George-Ogan, who spoke at a press conference in Lagos, yesterday, warned that the persistent gross under-representation of Nigerian women in elective offices could pose a severe threat to nation-building and socio-economic growth if not corrected as the country is heading towards another general elections in 2023.

They said given that women constitute about 50 per cent of the population, Nigeria currently has the lowest representation of women across parliament in Africa, at a dismal 4.1 per cent, noting that in 2019, only five were among the 73 candidates that contested for the post of president and none of them (women) were among the top three most-voted in the presidential race.

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Faborode and George-Ogan said to address the anomalies, ElectHer had also set up the machinery to advocate for legislation of minimum of 35 per cent women representation quota in appointive and elective offices and as well sensitise voters and engage citizens on the dire need for women representation ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“The adverse effect of this inequality gap in women participation in politics has led to poor policy outcome and the low prioritisation of social development over the years, crippling socio-economic progression in the country.

“Agender35 is a movement that requires the collective effort of all critical stakeholders – the citizens, media, political parties, private sector, the third sector and the government,” they said.

The duo noted that if Nigeria continues to maintain the current level of ignorance on socio-political issues, like poor women representation in politics and elective positions, “there would be no country in the next two decades.”

They added: “There is overwhelming evidence that shows the benefits that accrue to a society when women are in political leadership and the highest levels of power and decision-making. If what we want as a people is a better Nigeria regardless of tribe, ethnicity, religion, geography or generation, then we must unite around the Agender35 campaign and give women the opportunity they deserve so they can show us what they are capable of.”

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