Obasanjo, WIMPol task women on participation in politics
Indeed the participation of women in politics has reduced from 9.6 per cent representation in the 7th republic to 4.9 per cent in the 8th republic.
Speaking at the just-conclude WIMPol workshop, which had ‘Politics 101…The Winning Formula’ as its theme, the former President stated the women must strive to have a place of honour in the 2019 general elections.
He submitted that with the knowledge bestowed on women by God, they should be able to use it judiciously in their daily affairs.
He frowned against gender inequality in Nigerian politics, stressing that women and men are created with the same ability except in the role of procreation.
His words: “Women as majority must be reckoned with. They need to be participants in decision-making positions. It all starts by commencing mobilisation through our children and youths.
“In 2019 elections, women must have a place of honour. In the coalition for Nigeria movement which I had advocated and whatever political association you emanate from, women should have 30 per cent in composition and must be transformed into physical power at the executive and legislative level.”
In her keynote address, the Acting Admin Secretary, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Lagos state chapter, Ijeoma Okey-Igbokwe, said the commission is working hard to ensure political parties include women in their plans.
She advised women to begin early once they show interest in politics.
“One problem that women have is that they don’t start early. We must start very early, after elections we don’t relax; we must start networking because we cannot do it alone. If you want to attain honourable position, you have to start ahead. Democracy is a game of numbers; it is the number of people that you know will determine your success. We need to socialize, network early, build relationships”, she said.
The forum argued that the setback suffered by women in the political turf was borne out of a strong adherence to patriarchal beliefs, cultural perceptions about the role of a woman, the nature of the political arena in Nigeria and the steep financial barriers to entry into the political game.
The organizers said the 2018 WIMPol forum was aimed at strengthening the success rate of female politicians in Nigeria, enable those with latent interest in politics understand the political terrain and also to connect existing and intending female politicians with those who can train them on soft and hard skills required for elective and appointed positions.
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