As part of activities to mark this year's International Women's Day, a civic group, Progressive Solidarity Forum (PSF) has advocated the need for more women to show interest in the democratic process in Nigeria. This was contained in a statement issued by the group's National Director, Media, Publicity and Information, Mrs Rekiya O. Sanni who described as "unfortunate" the low rate of women engagement in decision-making process.
She added that "the statistics of women's participation in decision making process both in elective and appointive positions are highly underrepresented." "The average index of women's political participation in Nigeria average has remained 6.7% in elective and appointive positions. This is far below the global average of 22.5% and West African 15%.", she added.
Nigerian women have been marginalised in country's democratic processes despite high literacy level and interest. We are relegated to positions of women leadership roles.
This calls for intervention to ensure that these gaps are closed if not totally eliminated. In Nigeria, we look forward to having the first ever Woman Vice President, President and Governor.
The statement further added that "It will be recalled that the UN Charter on Gender Equality, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. So women need to show more interest by playing active roles in the political process in this country"
"On our part in the PSF, we are advocating the implementation of the 35% gender affirmations. Interestingly, women constitutes the greater number of registered voters in any election held in Nigeria." -Says Mrs Sanni.
We know for sure that African countries like post-conflict Rwanda have over 60 percent women elected into parliamentary positions. Why can't this happen in Nigeria?" she queried.
The statement further urged women to vote for politicians that have demonstrable programmes for empowering women and encourage active political participation in the 2019 elections.
While congratulating women on the international women's day, She further urge the women to keep the virtues of positivity as she classified an average Nigerian women as hardworking, disciplined, thorough, creative, enterprising and productive.
Mr. Olalekan Adigun
National Deputy Director
Media, Publicity, and Information