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WACOL decries low number of women in political offices

29 September 2015, 21:31

Enugu - Dr. Joy Ezeilo, the Executive Director, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), an NGO, has expressed dissatisfaction over the number of women elected into political offices after the 2015 general elections.

Ezeilo made her feelings known while speaking at a two-day capacity building workshop for newly registered women politicians in Enugu State on Tuesday.

The former rapporteur to the United Nations said that the general assessment of the polls revealed that the election of women into political offices hit an all time low in 15 years.

According to her, out of the 909 members of the state Houses of Assembly across the country, only 36 women were women with the All Progressives Congress (APC) recording the least number of elected women.

“In the 2011 elections, 69 women were elected to the state Houses of Assembly across the country only for the number to reduce to 39 after the 2015 general elections.

“At the National Assembly, there are just eight women in the Senate and 20 in the House of Representatives.”

Ezeilo said that the non-integration of women into the democratic process was unacceptable to Nigerian woman.

Also read: Nigerians endorse women's participation in politics

She appealed to political parties in the country to ameliorate the situation through the implementation of the National Gender Policy, to fully mainstream women.

She urged women politicians to work together and articulate their views, irrespective of party affiliation, in order to emancipate themselves.

“We need female transformational leadership to bring development and peace and our male counterparts should support this because our progress is equally theirs,” Ezeilo said.

Also speaking, Mrs Peace Nnaji, the Enugu State Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, expressed regret that women had been continuously marginalised in the political process.

Nnaji said that though available statistics the world over showed a disadvantaged position for women in politics, the current situation in Nigeria called for concern.

She said that only 22 per cent of members of parliament all over the country were women, while 26 per cent were heads of government ministries.

Nnaji said that women needed to understand that their role in politics was much more than praise-singing and rice sharing.

It is reported that participants at the workshop were drawn across the 17 local government areas and political party leaders in the state.




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