Women Group Condemn Low Female Participation In Governance



The Independent National Electoral Commission has called for more support for women participating in the 2023 general election.

While warning women against vote selling and the mortgaging of their conscience and future on mundane things, the commission also advised women to warn their children against being used by selfish politicians.

INEC Deputy Director (Gender Relations Division), Ms. Victoria Eta-Messi, stated these during the sensitisation of over 500 women at the Garki International Market in Abuja, organised by a human rights organisation under the aegis of Nigerian Women Trust Fund with support from the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria.

The event which had as its theme, ‘Women and their participation under the NWTF #Balance4her campaign in the 2023 general elections’, aimed to educate women on the electoral process.


Eta-Messi told the market women that with the “voting of women into elective positions, the quality of their lives in terms of healthcare, agriculture, procurement, business and access to funds, grants and loans will be greatly enhanced.”

She said, “Vote for people who will not forget you when they win the next elections. This is for the sake of your children and the children of your children.

“With the voting of women in elective positions, women can determine the quality of your lives and this will affect healthcare, agriculture and businesses. It’s the votes of women that will determine who will lead the country after the elections.”

The Executive Director of NWTF, Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi, said Nigeria desperately needed women in government, stressing that the nation and its political institutions would not grow when half of the population was being left behind.

Fijabi lamented that for Nigerian women especially, democracy was moving backwards, with the dwindling number of women in governance in Nigeria, describing it as alarming.

“However, not voting will only worsen the situation hence the reason why we are encouraging women to actively participate in the forthcoming elections through the power of the PVC,” she added.

Fijabi added that the fresh approach to leadership that women would bring could be the best hope for improving citizens’ quality of life and combating the deep rooted corruption that has been linked to the nation’s leadership.

Also speaking, ElectHer Special Projects Lead, Anto Lecky, said that the National Assembly has over 400 members, but only six per cent are women.

“That means less than 20 persons in the National Assembly are women. It doesn’t make sense. So, we are asking you amazing women with your PVCs to go out on those election days and vote for the right candidates and we believe many of the right candidates are women and we know many people do not have their PVCs; that doesn’t stop you from being part of the electoral process.

“You that do not have your PVC must help the person that has their PVC telling them that you are relying and counting on them to make a better Nigeria,” she said.

On her part, Laolu Olawumi of EU-SDGN, cautioned the women against vote-trading in the 2023 election, saying, “Your vote matters. And that is why on election day, if they give you the money, even if you take the money, make sure that you still vote for people that you know will have your best interest at heart.”


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