The Kaduna state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Asmau Maikudi, has stated that 35 women are among the various political parties’ candidates for the 2023 general elections in Kaduna state.
Addressing a one day sensitisation and enlightenment meeting with women contestants and other stakeholders at the Kaduna state INEC headquarters on Thursday, Asmau called for more political support and political position for Nigerian women.
He said women constitute more than half of the population, more than 50% of registered voters in Nigeria and contribute more than men to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
The INEC REC, who commended Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state for raising the bar higher by having 47% composition of women in his cabinet instead of the 35% women affirmation, said, “women constitute slightly more than half of the world population. Their contribution to the socio-economic development of societies is also more than half as compared to that of men by virtue of our triple roles in the productive, reproductive and community management spheres.
“Yet our participation in formal political structures and processes, where decisions regarding the use of societal resources generated by both
men and women are made, remains insignificant, as we have just seen in the NASS decision of rejecting Affirmative Action in the Constitutional
Amendment of the Electoral Act, 2022. Among the five gender bills rejected by the parliament, were the affirmative action bill to ensure 35% positions for women, the bill on ministerial or commissioner nomination, the reserved seat bill to create additional seats for women at the Senate, House of Representatives and the States Houses of Assembly.
“The rejection has only further energized women in Kaduna state to push for elective and representative positions. Today we have 35 women politicians that have emerged victorious in their party primaries. There’s no gain saying that women in positions of leadership have shown competence and diligence in their service. Any nation that does not recognize its women and their capacity is doomed to failure. Women need men to support them to achieve their full potential and bring in their expertise to move the country forward.
“Despite many national and international conventions, resolutions and agreements of which Nigeria is a signatory, Nigerian women have still
remained backward and neglected. We are not given our right position in organizations both politically and socially. I must however acknowledge some countries that have found women worthy of leadership and commend such women for proving their worth, Rwanda readily comes to mind here. It is a strong example of how women can be utilized and harnessed.
“Malam Nasir el-Rufai has transformed Kaduna state as a shining example of how to engage women in governance and development. It is the only state that has 47% of women in appointive positions in the state. Women of Kaduna have made invaluable contributions and unrelenting efforts to drive development and growth in the state. The deputy governor, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe is going down into history as the only woman to be elected Deputy Governor for a 1 term and contesting into the same position, for the 2023 elections.
“As at 1st August 2022, women constituted over 50% of the electorates that registered for the CVR nationwide, and therefore urge you to support each other as the surest way to success in 2023GEs. We have the numbers. Nigerian policy makers should note that the continued marginalization of women in Nigeria is a huge detriment to its efforts to grow as a stable, democratic nation. Any democratisation process that fails to incorporate a gender perspective is a flaw.”