Female politicians seek more representation in Kwara

Female political aspirants in Kwara State and members of a civil society group under the auspices of the Women Political Participation (WPP) programme have urged the implementation of 35 per cent affirmative action for female politicians in elective public service positions in Nigeria as contained in the extant National Gender Policy (NGP).

They spoke on Thursday at a one-day workshop on Strategic Advocacy for Increased Women’s Participation in Politics (SURGE-UP) organised by the Women Environment and Youth Development Initiative (WOYODEV) in Ilorin, supported by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), funded by USAID and UKAID.

The Executive Director of WOYODEV, Tosin Apiriola-Ajayi, lamented that Nigeria does not have a specific quota system for women in politics, hinting that, though women make up a significant portion of the electorate in Nigeria, the country’s political landscape has historically been male-dominated.

“For instance, no female governors were elected in the 2023 elections, a pattern that has remained constant since the return to democracy in 1999,” Apiriola-Ajayi said.

She said the SURGE-UP project would reignite gender-responsive policies and programs and achieve a strong gender quota legislation for women in parliamentary elections and other local elections in Kwara State.

“Also, it aims to increase women’s participation and representation in politics in Kwara State through high-level advocacy for gender-responsive policies and programs towards the 2027 elections,” she added.

She said that the project aimed to achieve this by building a strong partnership with female and male parliamentarians, party leaders, and community gatekeepers with the use of strategic awareness-raising, editorials, and public campaigns as veritable tools.

According to her, it would reignite the political will of parliamentarians in the state to sponsor and facilitate bills and legislation to advocate a strong quota for women in future elections at national and state levels.

“To foster social movements led by female party stalwarts, parliamentarians, and women aspirants for increased advocacy, women’s engagement, and massive grassroots mobilisation for women politicians such that they can compete with their male counterparts in the 2027 elections in Kwara State,” Apiriola-Ajayi said.

She noted that the group expects results like: “Bills that seek strong quotas for women in political offices initiated in state and national assemblies.

“Bills promoting women’s participation in politics and specific financial caps for local and national elections progress.

“Sustained stronger and supportive networks that empower women interested in politics and provide them with guidance throughout their political careers established and sustained.

“Increased skills and knowledge of aspiring women politicians, leading to increased participation of women in politics and a higher number of women seeking public office,” she explained.

The forum agreed that “the upcoming Local Government elections are an opportunity to ensure women emerge through party primaries in Kwara State.”

The programme was attended by female students in politics, female elective political aspirants, political party representatives, state ministry officials, and the gender desk officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), among other stakeholders in the state.

The post Female politicians seek more representation in Kwara appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *