With barely two weeks to the nation’s general elections, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, has identified violence as a major cause hindering the effective participation of women in politics.
It also decried the steady decline in women’s participation in politics, especially at the parliamentary level.
Country Vice President/National President FIDA, Mrs Amina Agbaje said this at the capacity building workshop for accredited election observers, on documenting and reporting violence against women during the 2023 general elections, held in Jos, the Plateau State Capital.
Agbaje said, “Women constitute a powerful electorate with millions of votes in Nigeria.
“According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigerian women signalled their intention to make their voices heard in the 2019 elections, accounting for about 47.14 percent (39, 598, 645 million) of the 84, 004, 084 million registered voters nationwide.
“Going into the 2023 general elections, there has been an interest in the number of female voters from 39, 598, 645 to 44, 414, 846 and from 47.14% in 2019 to 47.51% in 2023.
“Women represent about 50% of the Nigerian population; inspite of this, their level of participation and representation is increasingly very poor”, She lamented.
“Current statistics of women in parliament in Nigeria confirm that women’s representation in parliament is on a steady decline.
“9% in 2007, 7% in 2011, 5% in 2015 and less than 10% in the 9th National Assembly”, the FIDA President decried.
“Using the 2015 figures, there are only 4 women deputy governors in all of Nigeria’s 36 States”, She maintained.
“While factors militating against women’s participation are varied, a major cause hindering effective participation of women in politics is the issue of violence”, she explained.
Agbaje maintained that eradication of political violence was key in advancing women’s political participation stressing the importance of condensing political violence before and after polls to allow women participate fully.
“It is on this premise that this capacity building workshop is being organised towards advancing the participation of women in the 2023 general elections by strengthening our selected observers who are being accredited by INEC to identify, observe, document and report incidences of violence against women in the elections.
2023: What hinders women’s effective participation in politics – FIDA