BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto
A group, Women in Politics, has called for more women participation and visibility in all elective and appointive positions in the country, as the 2023 general elections draws closer.
The Forum, which stressed that women could excel like their male counterparts in governance, appealed to the executive arm of government to ensure compliance with the 35 percent affirmative action in appointive positions into public offices in conformity with the National Gender Policy and the Judgement of the Federal High Court recently delivered by Justice Donatus Okorowo.
Addressing newsmen last Thursday in Sokoto at the NUJ Press Center, the President, Women in Politics Forum, Barrister Ebere Ifendu lamented that only APM party out of the 18 displayed by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fielded a woman as it’s presidential candidate.
Women in Politics is part of the Electoral Integrity and Accountability in Nigeria project funded by the Mac Arthur Foundation, implemented by WRAPA in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund, 100 Women Lobby Group, and Elect Her.
Continuing, Barrister Ebere said, “1,101 candidates are vying for the 109 Senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates are contesting for the 469 legislative positions. An analysis of the candidates according to gender shows that there is only one (1) female candidate for the Presidential election.
”That of the APM, which therefore represents just 2.77 percent of Presidential election candidates with no party fielding a female as the vice presidential candidate.
“For the Senate, out of 1,101 candidates vying for 109 Senatorial seats, 92 are women. (8.35 percent) while 288 women are contesting for House of Representatives seats out of the total 3,122 candidates, representing 9.2 percent.
“Cumulatively, there are 381 women among the total 4259 contestants for the presidency, (presidential candidate and running mates) and the National Assembly seats. This represents 8.9 percent of the candidates,” she stressed.
Ebere further charged the legislature to pass relevant laws that will promote women participation in politics, adding that nobody gets elected without the support of the women.
She also admonished the media to consistently project women in good light hence giving them the desired visibility to communicate their visions and missions.
Barrister Ebere appealed to traditional, religious and community leaders, to be advocates, champions and drivers of women participation in politics from their various spaces.
Corroborating the position of Barrister Ebere, the State Coordinator of Mariya Tambuwal Development Initiative (MTDI) Hajiya Fatimah Khalid appealed for change of orientation towards entrusting women with political positions in the State.
On her part, Hon (Hajiya) Ubaida Mohammed Bello, the Special Adviser to governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on Human Rights, NGOs and Donor Agency said consistent advocacy and orientation will enhance women participation in politics.