The political participation of women in Nigeria has always been an issue of concern as women continue to struggle in bridging the gap of under-representation in leadership and governance. ENE OSANG writes on the benefits of the WIPF partnership with NILS.
The continuing record of under-representation of women in both elective and appointive positions has been blamed on cultural and religious barriers including other challenges which inhibit women from active political participation.
It is to this end that members of the National Institute for Legislative Studies NILS on the 14th of August visited the Women in Politics Forum WIPF to partner on ways of achieving inclusive governance in Nigeria.
An Executive of NILS Professor Alkali, while leading a delegation on a courtesy visit on the WIPF stressed the need for supporting women enhance their capacity, saying this will enable them have the qualities needed to hold elective or appointive positions.
He noted the contributions women have made in the past, adding that the positive roles women play in politics and good governance are well recognized.
He therefore assured that the institute will hold seminars and other programmes discuss ways of ensuring free and fair elections come 2019.
‘’With preparation of the 2019 elections in full swing, seminars and programs will be held by the institute to discuss various aspects of political activities to ensure that the forth coming elections at all levels are free ,fair and transparent,’’ he said.
‘’Other activities include planned advocacy visits to political actors and to plan a time line of activities that will run through the 2019 elections,’’ he added.
In order to achieve this aim, wipf was brought on board as major stakeholders for their active participation in the areas of inputs and advice given their expertise on peculiar political issues as it relates to women.
Alkali assured WIPF of their support, just as he sought to partner them in ensuring that women have a grassroots touch and identification as well as mentoring in political party engagements.
He further appealed to the WIPF to encourage her members to take advantage of the courses in the institute which are meant to sharpen the cutting edge of female legislators and aspiring ones.
Receiving the delegation, the President WIPF Barrister Ebere Ifendu, said women will continue to hold political parties accountable for affirmative action, inclusion and internal party democracy.
She added that WIPF is willing to work hand together with nils for better engagement of women on a rewarding note, adding that mentorship programmes, capacity building, media engagement are strategies the forum has used to be in the front burner.
The visiting team included NILS technical partner such as Country Director of IPAS Hauwa Shekarau, James Laman of IRI, Patrick Defuna of the institute and Amin Umar of the legislative institute.