Sunday 31 December 2023


 A roundtable strategy meeting on women's political participation and leadership in Nigeria: The road to 2027 was held by BAOBAB (for women's human rights) at Valencia hotel, Abuja. The meeting was a follow-up to a similar one held by BAOBAB between the 25th and 26th of October 2023 on National leadership and advocacy for women in politics.

Some of the participants are:

*Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami (BDS) - ED BAOBAB

*Hon. Victor Obuzor - Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Civil Society & Development Matters

*Hon. Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi - Mandate Secretary, Women Affairs Secretariat, FCTA, Represented by Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa 

*Adebowale Olorunmola - Country Director, Westminster Foundation Nigeria

*Ms. Ene Ede - Chief Facilitator, Equity Advocates

*Dorothy Aken'Ova - Facilitator

*Chief Ronke Okusanya - Chair, APC Elders' Forum, Ekiti state

               L-R: Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami (ED BAOBAB & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

BDS gave an overview of the Research Report on Women's inclusion in politics focused on Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria for which she was the Lead Researcher. The parameters interrogated in the course of the research were:

*Quality of women's participation

*Structures, institutions and practices 

*Limiting factors

*Excuses for inclusion

BDS assessed the People's Democratic Party (PDP) on behalf of Nigeria. Nigeria's showing on the inclusivity percentage list is indeed uninspiring. some of the figures are:

*Nigeria - 5.5%

*Ghana - 14.6%

*Morocco - 20.5%

*Malawi - 23%

*Angola - 30%

*Tanzania - 36.9%

*South Africa - 44%

*Namibia - 46%

The limiting factors included lack of:

*Political will

*Actualisation of the Maputo Protocol Art 9:26 (ratified by Nigeria 19 years ago)

*Enabling environment

*Prebendalism (money politics)

*Willingness by women to participate in politics like men

*Elimination of violence and intimidation of women in politics

*Internal Political Party democracy

What then are the strategies in other African countries that make them succeed as regards inclusivity, where Nigeria fails?

*Affirmative Action in Electoral Laws

*Voluntary quotas in Political Parties (e.g. Malawi)

*Women pay just a fraction of the cost of nomination forms and waivers/rebate on cost of application forms (e.g. Nigeria). But many female politicians say that this 'privilege' has become a liability because they have lost their voices at the negotiation table on account of this...

*CSOs invest in women's mobilisation

*Economic empowerment of women

*Recognition for male champions

*Training in media reportage of women in politics

*Safe spaces for women in Electoral Laws

*Mentorship of young female politicians by more experienced and older ones. Reverse mentorship of the older politicians by the younger ones in ICT, AI, etc

*Campaign School for female candidates

*Academy for young women in politics

*Correct historical records about the contribution of women to the democratic process

*Sensitisation at the Local Government level

*Use of digital tools and positive disruption of the political process

*Balance collaboration with confrontation

*Appointment of more women into appointive positions

*Engendering of positive masculinity

*Legislators and other women in politics taking their male counterparts to lunch/dinner for de-briefing about the inclusion of women in politics

The tips above, as elicited from the workshop for the effective inclusion of women in politics are by no means exhaustive but could be a baseline for the achievement of the desired goal...


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