Violence, patriarchy bane of political growth – Women think-tank

Dame Tallen

The Nigerian Women Strategic Think Tank (NWSTT) has expressed deep concerns on the political system, saying violence and patriarchy still remained a major challenge deterring most women from active political participation amidst advocacy against the menace across the country.

National President of Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Ebere Ifendu, stated this in Abuja in her address at the Nigeria Women Strategic WSTT meeting organised to explore better roadmap to the 2023 elections.

Ifendu noted the need for the legislature to make it a law that a certain percentage be set aside for women to occupy in both elective and appointive position, saying this will go a long way in improving on the number of women representation at all levels of governance and leadership positions.

She said, “If we have legislation guaranteeing certain percentage for women to participate in leadership just as we have federal character, if we have gender aspect it will encourage women in politics also to join politics because there would be level playing ground for all.

“We are not in confrontation with anyone, we are not fighting men we are only saying give us a little space for us to compliment what you are doing because we have our ideas too.

“Women should also understand that Men celebrate success and that’s why all over the world Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Amina Mohammed is being celebrated and nobody is talking about her being woman because they have seen success. These women got these positions purely on merit and they are celebrated by all.

“More women should be celebrated because the terrain is rough yet with all the challenges they keep moving, though it’s a slow speed but we are getting there.

“Senator Omo-Agege has done well by creating a bill for more seats for women and that has passed second reading, we are happy because this shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we must keep pushing until we get there,” she urged.

Co-convener of the think tank, Princess Nikky Onyeri, regretted that Nigeria still ranks low in women representation in parliament and other leadership positions, noting that many countries of the world including Africa are improving on women representation.

“We are asking for 35% affirmative action when other African countries have given women 50%. We must continue to work together as women and not be discouraged because if we don’t work together we cannot go far,” she urged.