The rain on the Morning of Friday 23rd March 2018 did not deter the Executive Director of WGCCEEO from attending the Seminar How Women Can Win Elections in 2019? Held at the Yar’Adua Center Abuja Nigeria. The event which was part of the European Union Gender Action Plan had Women Leaders’ from the local and global arena in attendance. In his welcome address, Mr. Ketil Karlsen Ambassador EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS welcomed everyone to the event as the program was developed to promote the participation of Women in the upcoming elections especially in the area of garnering support at the grassroots while also devising strategies in ensuring that Women come out to not only vote but also be voted for in the 2019 General Elections.
In her speech titled Strategy for Expanding the Space for Female Participation in Politics- Erelu Bisi Fayemi a Gender and Development Specialist noted that the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without Gender Equality. She added that Women were under-represented in politics as a result of religious and cultural conversation, increasing levels of violence against Women and Girls’, low level of awareness on Women’s Rights, Low numbers of women in decision making, absence of resources for civil society, and lack of political will in promoting the participation of Women in the political space. She emphasized that for more women to participate in the political space the following key areas need to be addressed-
1. Patriarchal Norms and Values.
2. Inaccessible Party Machinery
3. The Cost of Politics
4. Need for an enabling environment for Women
All of which can be achieved through the constitutional provision for affirmation, using the social media as a tool for mobilization, creation of a level playing field and the need for Women to aspire for political leadership.
Senator Binta Garba the only Female Senator from Northern Nigeria added that Women who were interested in politics needed to be active at the grassroots and they must not only be confident in their capabilities but highly knowledgeable about the issues which affects the people they seek to represent. Ms. Rumbidzai Kandawasvika-Nhundu- Senior Program Manager (Democracy & Gender) International IDEA Sweden in her speech- Global State of Democracy Report, Focus on Women and Political Participation said quotas do not favor women and hence the need for a level playing field which presently requires transformation. She stressed that spaces need to be opened for Women’s Political Participation as well as the need for Women to not only build a synergy among-st every sphere but also have a mindset change as they have a role to play in the political transformation of their country.
Lastly, the program continued with goodwill messages from Mrs. Toyin Saraki Wife of the Senate President, Hon. Ngunan Addingi Member Benue State House of Assembly, Samson Itodo- Not Too Young to Run and Rinsola Abiola APC Board of Trustees all urging Women to break cultural stereotypes and step out of their comfort zone as the development of the nation depends on their positive role in transforming the political thermosphere.

One Comment

  1. Annila
      September 25, 2018 at 1:16 PM

    Women need to break the gas ceilings.They need to know how much power they have

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