The National Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hajiya Mariya Waziri, has called for a strategic plan for women to take up more political positions in 2023 general elections.
Waziri made the call at the opening of the two-days strategic workshop for women organised by the Office of the PDP National Woman Leader, in partnership with the International Republican Institute (IRI), Monday at the party’s National Secretariat, in Abuja.
PDP woman leader noted that “we are here to discuss amongst ourselves, encourage ourselves, and explore suggestions for strengthening our party, especially at the grassroots.
She added that “as we enter 2021, we must deliberate and plan our activities in a very strategic way. 2023 is not far away and 2021 is a step towards preparations for the General Elections.
“We must not be carried away by any present and future disagreements both within our party and between our party and the ruling party, Waziri said.
Waziri expressed optimism that the meeting would come up with a new commitment towards making PDP stronger through meaningful engagements with supporters, members and other relevant stakeholders at all levels.
She continued “at all times, be ready to deliberately support female aspirants as much as possible.
“Make it a point of duty to support women beyond the tokenism of the inclusion one woman, strive to push for the inclusion of as many women as possible.
“Also, remember to involve young women who are our touch bearers and successors in all your activities”.
The national women leader said that the meeting was designed to highlight areas of advancements needed for women, especially as it relates to women’s political inclusion at all levels.
In her remarks, former House of Representatives Leader, Hon. Mulikat Areola-Akande said that women needed to get it right by 2023 by working together.
Hon. Akande said “we cannot get it right if we continue to pull ourselves down. When we continue to say we can not support her, the men always come together to ensure that we do not get it, but as women, we should support ourselves.
She continued, “Whether we like it or not. If we put a woman in a position, we can demand accountability from her. We can say we put you there, come and explain to us what you are doing.”
“In each state, we have very capable women. You don’t even have to contest elections to be relevant in politics.”
She stressed the need to mentor young women into politics.
Former Senate Committee Chairman on Environment and Ecology, Sen. Grace Bent stressed the need for women to set agenda for women representation ahead of 2023 and be aggressive about it.
She said, “I have realised that for a woman to be relevant in politics you must be aggressive because no man will give you the chance on a platter of gold. If you want to succeed you must pay the price.”
The IRI Resident Program Director, Angee Wambugu, said that the institute was working with the office of PDP woman leader to avoid the decline in women representation as witnessed in the 2019 general elections.
Wambugu represented by Sunday Alao, expressed optimism that the meeting would come up with recommendations to be submitted to PDP national leadership for women to occupy more executive offices of the party by its 2021 convention.
“By 2023 we should have more women taken up political positions, because we cannot have women constituting a half of the Nigerian electoral demographic yet, we are struggling with the figures of women who are elected during general elections.
“I think this is the time to change the narrative, and it has to starts with the PDP,” Wambugu said.