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Nigerian women political participation in decline

Political stakeholders in the country have expressed concern over the decline in the number of women who are occupying elective positions, public-office and their general participation in politics in the country in recent time.
The history of Nigeria and its political emancipation as a country cannot be complete without mentioning the significant contribution of women. Before independence,  the first, second and third republics, up to the present dispensation, women have made great contributions and in-road into the political space.
Noted to be firm in decision making, hardworking and less corrupt, women have defied the odds and made great strides in all spheres of life in Nigeria.
However, since after the Beijing conference and declaration in 1991, there has been a re-awakening among women, giving birth to the much talked about affirmative action that prompted the united nations (UN) to subsequently conceded 35 percentage of all positions to women.
Since the advent of democracy in Nigeria, subsequent administration of Olusegun Obasanjo made significant progress towards fulfilling that quota, while the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, also appointed more women into key positions, while there were equally a significant number in elective positions.
However, stakeholders are of the view that progress made in recent years seem to have been short-lived, while they identified a complex political system and monetisation of the political system as some of the major challenges militating against women participation in politics.
A female politician and a one-time aspirant for the national deputy woman leader of the People’s Democracy Party (PDP) Tolani Animasheun agreed that the number has declined, adding however, that progress achieved in previous administration was because there were deliberate efforts by those administrations to put women at the front.
She stressed the current administration had not done enough, adding that only the southwest has done well for women by reserving the deputy governor positions to women.
“Yes it is ; what is happening is that women are not put at the forefront in this APC government unlike previous governments under Obasanjo and Jonathan; we are now in opposition”.
“In the southwest; it is agreed that women should be deputy and that has been the practice since then. So it is in Anambra State. In-terms of politics, the southwest has done more for women but it is still minimal in terms of participation of women.
“Presently, out of 109 senators we have seven women senators and out of 360 members of the House of Representatives, we have about 17 women; we had far more women from 1999-2017; there were also lots of woman in parastatals and ministries in the country”.
“The recent affirmative action bill failed because the person that supposed to fight the bill that is Tinubu wife was not actually backed out.
But a former Deputy speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly and former Southwest women leader of the defund, Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), Hon Adeniran Adetoun, noted that the political space in Nigeria was not women friendly, while revealing that the over monetization of the political process and hooliganism have affected women involvement in politics in the country in recent times.
 “No am not satisfy, the number has dropped in the federal and state House of Assembly and in politics generally; but we have them more in the judiciary. When you talking about elective positions, our people believe we don’t have money power to compete with the men, which is why when we say we have to spend, but we are hoping things would change.
“We should not monetize our political system, because when you take money from a candidate to vote, it mean your vote have been bought such politician would not care for your interest because nor have the people at heart”.
“Our women can’t stand hooliganism, but what I say is; if you want to be in politics you should be able to face it. They would threaten you with guns; cutlass and you have to put your foot on the ground. The no of women in politics have drop.  When I contested at that time this issue was not so pronounced I mean money, hooliganism and the rest, they are becoming too much and we women are not that strong”.
“Am not in support of 35 percent affirmative action; why can’t we get 50 percent?  Let them give us the chance, at home we cook, wash, take care of the children, and do the rest things so why not give us the equal chance with the men.
As the 2019 general election approaches, there is the growing concern that if women are to make more in-road in the country’s political space, there have to be a deliberate policy that encourage them, while the complex political system , that give rise to hooliganism, places emphases on money and God-fatherism must be completely overhauled.
The post Nigerian women political participation in decline appeared first on BusinessDay : News you can trust .

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