News The African Way

Group Blames Few Female Candidates For 2023 On Lack Of Internal Democracy


By Justina Auta

A coalition, 100 Women Lobby Group, has blamed low number of female candidates in 2023 general election on lack of internal democracy in political parties, saying that most parties are not gender sensitive.

Mrs Felicia Onibon, the National Coordinator of the Group stated this at a meeting tagged, “Dissemination on the Analysis/Review of the 2022 Party Primaries and its Implication on Women Political Participation in 2023” in Abuja on Thursday.

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) had released a report indicating that only 10.1 per cent of the candidates for the 2023 general election were females.

“We all know that political parties have been having alot of issues around party democratic system particularly in the area of primary election.

“Alot of things happened that actually helped in pushing down women in the governance system and structures of Nigeria.

” I will like to say that the primaries in the Nigerian political system is the foundation of women not been given adequate space in the development of the political space in Nigeria,” she said.

While reviewing the dissemination report, Prof. Mabel Evwierhoma, the Director, Center for Gender and Security Studies and Youth Advancement at the University of Abuja, said the survey involved six states.
The states included: Rivers, Ondo, Adamawa, Delta, Imo and the FCT.

Ewierhoma said over 60 per cent of the respondents were youths and they blamed women low representation on money politics, inadequate awareness, gender based violence, lack of women’s visibility amongst others as the bane of women’s progress.

She said most of the women were not happy with what transpired at the 2022 party primaries, saying that there was need for more political sensitisation on the 2022 electoral act, especially at the grassroots.

“The lack of visibility within the political party structure is responsible for some of the negation they felt on the field of active politics.

“Monetisation of politics was another finding from the research and many women were not happy that political violence left them at the receiving end at political processes.

” A lot want violence to be curbed and the implication would mean family should support women realise their political dream,” she said.

The University Don, harped on the need for women to have more political sensitisation and education.

She added that a politically conscientised woman would not be easily asked to renage from the block of vote she has enjoyed within the community, state and the party when it concerns party primaries.

“Another solution would be that women should recognize that their pursuit of political equity means their engagement early enough within the political process and familiariszation with political hierarchy.

” So that no one would ask them to step aside for lack of confidence in their candidacy,” she said.

She, however, expressed optimism that women would be actively involved in governance, in spite of the low percentage of female candidates contesting in various positions in the 2023 election.

“After 2023 we are going to have more elections and the gains achieved by women in 2023 would further propel more of them to be stakeholders as delegates, as candidates as party flagbearers and even as card carrying members of political parties.

“I am confident that more women are going to vote and more women being politically audible would mean them displaying the stake they have in the system.

“It would mean them wanting to know about the processes of governance and what it brings to the table for women,” she added.

Earlier, the National President of the Women in Politics Forum (WiPF) Mrs Ebere Ifendu, said that women were no longer on the pull her down syndrome as alleged by men and other political rivals.

Ufendu added that women have shown continued support for Sen. Aishatu Dahiru -Binani of Adamawa and were more enlightened than before on politics.

Meanwhile, a Gender Advocate, Asmau Benzies-Leo, encouraged women politicians to run for election, tasking them to be prepared physically, mentally and financially before running for any position.

“This is what the men do and no body will give you space just for quota system, you have to fight for it.

” The Electoral Act does not allow any person to form exclusive party but women have the groups to pressurize the political parties so having our own party will be an indictment on the women.

” We want to be with the men, compete and conquer with the men,” she said. (NAN)

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