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Women participation in politics in Nigeria extremely appalling, says UN

Women participation in politics in Nigeria extremely appalling, says UN
November 30
10:24 2022

The United Nations (UN) says women’s participation in Nigerian politics is very low compared to other African countries.

Beatrice Eyong, the UN women representative to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said this on Wednesday at a one-day meeting organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).

Eyong, represented by Desmond Osalobo, a programme specialist, said the percentage of women currently in the national parliament is 4.1, adding that the figure is “unsatisfactory and appalling”.

“The women’s participation in politics in Nigeria is very appalling and very unsatisfactory, and very, very unacceptable,” she said.

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“Because if you look at the African region, Nigeria is one of the lowest countries as far as representation in the parliament is concerned.

“Nigeria is just 4.1 per cent in the parliament as we speak to the national parliament, while in other countries like Rwanda it is 67 per cent, Senegal is about 57 per cent.

“These are all countries with a very high-level representation of women in parliament, but for Nigeria, it is something that is very unacceptable.”

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She said patriarchy in Africa, “societal beliefs, and religion has taken over and the men, of course, are dominant in the society”.

“We support the media, we also support the political parties, building the capacity of women, and ensuring that women can compete effectively,” she added.

“We have also in one way or the other, provided a kind of both internal and external training to women, where they go outside to learn from other nations where they have been able to advance.

“We are training the young women known as a young women academy, where if in future we want the young women that are interested in governance, to be able to jump into political parties and be able to change the narrative.

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“We have met with the traditional rulers, we have met with the religious leaders, we have met with a media organisation, try to sensitise and mobilise all stakeholders and telling them the importance and benefits of women to be part of governance.”

Dorathy Bello, director of gender and exclusivity, Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC), asked political parties to enforce and adhere to the constitutional rules they enacted.

“The commission is regularly meeting with political parties, pressing it on their leadership to ensure internal party democracy to ensure the inclusion of women,” Bello said.

“So the commission is constantly reminding them of the importance is also not just about the commission to people the media, civil society organisations jointly, we can all keep up and step up this advocacy, so that our country will be better.”

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