Borno Stakeholders Amplify Need To Ease Women’s Participation In Politics
By Zainab Yetunde Adam
Ahead of the forthcoming general elections and 2027 elections, Stakeholders in Borno have called for continuous awareness to change the negative societal purview on women in politics.
They stated this during a Stakeholders consultative workshop organised by UN Women among other implementing partners in Maiduguri to identify the limitation on women’s participation.
One of the participants who is also the Head of the Administration of Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress, Mohammed Gwuyo said that culture, patriarchy and lack of support from the society limit women’s participation in governance.
“Take, for example, Sarah Jibrilla, when she contested for president in 2011, she only have one vote which is her own.”
Mr Gwuyo emphasised that women need to be confident enough in their ability to occupy political positions and not to give in in the face of pressure.
Building on Mr Gwuyo’s viewpoint, another participant, Mohammed Abdullahi, from Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development, added that empowering women will help make a difference in emboldening them to emerge as flag bearers in elections.
“Let’s begin to dialogue with the influential parties/people to give women slots. We can do this by showcasing the achievements of a few women who are opportune to hold political positions. We can do this by comparing their activities with what their male counterparts can achieve to bring women to the table.”
Mr Mohammed said he believes women can achieve development massively if allowed to serve.
“There nothing about us without us, nothing about women without us,” he exemplified.
A representative of the Network for Civil Society Organizations in Borno, Aisha Abubakar, said certain political activities like attending late-night meetings are some of the factors that make politics difficult for women.
“Even in offices people don’t always accept women to be at the helm of affairs no matter how qualified they are,” she said.
“Even though this insurgency, has brought to the fore how women are taking responsibilities and leadership roles, yet when we talk about political participation, the men are not willing to accept women,” Mrs Aisha reiterated.
A UN Women fact sheet distributed at the workshop indicated that Women’s representation in politics in Nigeria has steadily been dropping since 2007. The document indicated that currently, women make up only 4.47% of the state’s Houses of Assembly, with 14 state Houses having zero representation.
The Humanitarian Times observes that Borno state has only two female Commissioners out of 20 commissioners in service and one member of the Federal House of Representatives at the national assembly.
To close these political gaps, the Programme Officer of UN Women, Chundung Dauda advocated an all stakeholders’ support for competent females. candidates in the coming election women to be precise for an integrated society as well as sustainable peace and development.
Additionally, the stakeholders appealed for increased positions for women in politics, financial support, Security and ease of engagement for women in administrations.
The meeting referenced the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, 193 U.N.T.S. 135, entered into force July 7, 1954, which recognized that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country directly or indirectly through freely chosen representatives, and has the right to equal access to public service in his country, and desiring to equalize the status of men and women in the enjoyment and exercise of political rights, by the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights