Bauchi female politicians decry ‘prostitute’ tag
Women politicians in Bauchi State are complaining about the ‘prostitute’ tag on them and the discrimination against women in politics.The women, at a programme tagged ‘Women Candidates Dialogue Forum’ organised by the Young Leaders Network (YLN) in Bauchi, warned against discouraging women from active participation in politics.
The forum brought women from different political parties to assess the challenges they faced during the last general elections and seek ways to address them.Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) candidate in Bogoro constituency at the election, Mantuda Adamu, said that the major challenge she faced was finance.
She also lamented that she was labelled a prostitute because of her doggedness. Mantuda said: “As a woman, if you come out boldly to contest in Bauchi State, they would say you are a prostitute. If they call you for a meeting at about 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., people would say you were going for ‘business’ (prostitution) and not for politics.”
Narrating her experience while trying to vie on major political platforms, she said: “Most of the delegates asked me what I have to offer them. Some of them asked for motorcycles, some demanded N100,000 and some N50,000. As a woman, if you are not in the position to offer them these, they won’t vote for you.”
Balkisu Ayuba, who contested under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said that some of the executives of the party said she would not be allowed to contest in the party because she was not yet married.She disclosed that her life was also threatened. “I had accidents the day I went to buy my nomination form and the day I flagged off my campaign. I also got an anonymous call from a woman who told me to ‘step aside and don’t contest again or, I swear to God, you will die if you refuse.’”
A former national executive member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hassana Arkila, called on women to come together to form a united force that would make impact politically and take over from the men.She said: “Women are the only ones that make things happen, and if we join hands, these men will go nowhere because we are the majority. We can influence the youth and even convince our husbands, if we know how to play our cards.”