Nigeria Yet To Break The Jinx Of Electing A Female Governor : The Need To Encourage More Women Participation In Elective And Appointive Position.

Written By: Adebukola Aluko

It is a known fact that the development of any country requires the participation of both men and women.

As such, it is expected that both men and women should have equal rights and opportunities to participate fully in all aspects and at all levels of political processes and governance.

in developed and developing countries, women’s impacting role in public, managerial and technical matters are increasingly being recognised.

thus,over the years, women have mounted the political turf in some western and Asian countries.

for example, Britain has produced two female prime ministers, late Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and currently Theresa May.

Also, international institutions such as the international monetary fund, IMF, has witnessed the emergence of Christine Lagarde in 2011 to manage global financial matters.

In Africa, Rwanda top the list of countries, which had commendably opened up the electoral system to women with female legislators accounting for 61% in lower house and 39% in the upper chamber.

Similarly, Malawi produced a woman, president Joyce Bandas in 2012 while Ellen Johnson sir leaf is the current helmsman in Liberia.

Since 1999, when the nation returned to democratic rule, the number of women participation in politics has been on the decline.

till date, the nation cannot point to any elected female governor, except deputy positions, while at the national assembly the number of women remain negligible over the years.

Out of the 109 senate members in Nigeria senate chamber, women were 7 in 1999, 4 in 2003, 9 in 2007, 7 in 2011 and 7 in 2015.

In the house of representatives, out of the 360 members of the house in 1999, 7 were women, while in 2003, 21 were women, 27 in 2007 25 in 2011 and 14 in 2015.

Inspite of the fact that a number of women in the country had in the past and recent times, proved that they had the capacities to deliver and move the nation forward.

These include personalities such as former NAFDAC boss late professor Dora Akunyili, former minister of education Dr Oby Ezekwesili, and former minister of finance and coordinating and minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

Meanwhile, it should be noted that in 1985, nigeria ratified the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in 1979, but the operation of the 30 articles of the convention in nigeria has not been achieved.

Thereafter, nigeria also adopted the i985, Beijing platform of action and signed the universal declaration of human rights, international covenant on civil and political rights, international covenant on economic social and cultural rights.

In order to promote women involvement in elective and appointive positions, there is the need for attitudinal change from general perception of women as second fiddle to men in the society.

Political parties on their part should support and give waivers to women candidates in payment of nomination fees during elections and appointments.

Similarly, there is the urgent need for the implementation of gender policy and ensure that women constitute at least 35% of women appointment and increase it to 50% by 2030.

Furthermore, the media should also mobilize and sponsor campaign for women and stop gender stereotyping of women as objects of pleasure.

In addition, the civil society should continue advocacy for gender equality and women empowerment.

There is no doubt, that increased women participation in politics and decision making process would benefit the society as a whole and enhance nation building.

Written By: Adebukola Aluko

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