At a Women in Politics Forum(WIPF) workshop recently, Dr Tanko Yusuf, National Chairman of the National Conscience Party and Chairperson of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) encouraged young women to get more involved in politics, “if you look around the world, you would find out that people leading the developed countries are youth especially Australia where a lot of young women are leading”.
The workshop which was sponsored by United Nations Development Partners (UNDP) in partnership with Women In Politics Forum (WIPF) had a cross section of young women from various political parties in attendance.
The initiative sought to build the capacity of young women by informing them of their rights and other sundry instruments that back their participation in politics. It brought to light the dismal participation of the Nigerian woman in the political arena using present statistics.
Prof Joy Ezeilo during her presentation mentioned that despite the 35% affirmative action provided for during the fourth Women World Conference in Beijing which Nigeria ratified, women represent less than 10% of the total number of candidates in the 2011 elections.
Some of the ways she felt women participation in politics can be improved include strengthening of internal party structure, political parties adopting a voluntary quota system in accordance with the National Gender Policy and the adoption of Gender quota with regard to party organs and elections into party offices.
The participants recognised the need for more women to become involved in politics. Some of them saw politics as a way of advocating causes they believe in and also influencing policy that will improve the station of the Nigerian woman.
By Remi Serrano