At NBA Dialogue, UN Dep Sec-Gen decries poor women, youths representation in politics
*Blames security challenges on injustice, rights violation
Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, has frowned at the near alienation of women and youths in Nigerian politics, warning that equal participation is crucial for development.
Speaking Monday at the State of the Nation Dialogue organized by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, she noted that too often, women and youths remain left behind.
According to her, equal participation in politics is crucial for gender equality, yet, the number of women vying for political offices has been in decline.
She said: “In addition, the Nigerian population is young and talented and yet, they are not heard. 70 per cent of the Nigerian population is under the age of 30 years, yet they are also not represented and often not included as active participants in decision-making.
“My sincere hope is that this can be turned around to build a more equal and just society when we embrace the best of our traditions with open minds and build the trust that would allow us move towards a better future together.”
Mohammed also identified factors confronting Nigeria’s peace and security to include injustice, increasing social inequalities, impunity, rights violations and the lack of economic opportunities for citizens.
she expressed the need for the protection of electoral and other institutions related to the administration of justice to ensure that justice is served.
“Nigerian women constitute only 3.6 per cent of the national parliament and none is 35 years of age or younger. My appeal is to prioritize gender equality, women’s right and increase the number of women in government.
Muhammed, therefore, called for strong institutions, stressing that they are key to advancing equality and inclusion.
While applauding the increase in the number of registered voters from 84 million to 93 million, she decried the prevalence of fake news, hate speech as well as violence against candidates and destruction of INEC properties since the beginning of political campaigns began.
According to her, the importance of the dialogue cannot be underestimated as it would provide legal professionals a platform to discuss roles in managing conflicts that may rise from the outcome of the election. She, therefore, charged lawyers to remain impartial in the discharge of their functions by ensuring fair and justified results in all electoral matters.