Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) on Friday expressed worry over the low number of female candidates who emerged from the recent primaries of political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections.

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Ms Ebere Ifendu, President, WIPF said this in Abuja at the launch of the Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) UN Women and WIPF Task Team to monitor the implementation of women charter on democracy by political parties.

Ifendu said that there was need for political parties to embrace internal democracy so as to curb issues of godfatherism and dismantle barriers affecting female politicians.

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She said that the primaries did not favour women and added that something could still be done within the window of substitution of candidates to address the trend.

“When we look back at the last primaries, we will discover that the number of women candidates at the national assembly is small even though we have 91 political parties.

“ This is not good for us as women; I want Nigeria to walk the talk as we have agreed to have more women in politics.

“The major problem is not with the women, we have women of capacity, integrity and competence but what we are saying is a level playing field for all,’’ she said.

She however said that with the inauguration of task team to monitor the implementation of women charter on democracy by political parties women would be able to go all out.

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Ifendu advocated for the adoption of 35 per cent affirmative action by all political parties for women in both elective and appointive offices.

She also called for the proscription of delegate system of primaries, saying that it posed a great threat to the emergence of women at the primary elections.

Earlier, Mrs Mufuliat Fijabi, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) applauded IPAC for the inauguration of the task team, she said it would enhance the participation of women.

Fijabi said urged IPAC to ensure that all the political parties complied with the implementation of women charter on democracy in order to change the narrative.

She said that “As we move into 2019, it is critical for women to participate in politics mainly so that the decision of 2019 should not be one-sided.

“Already Nigeria is 182 out of 187 countries in terms of measuring the participation of women at the national parliament.

“Women need to be taken on as people who are important and essential to the progress of Nigeria.

“This is because we know that if a nation continues to stand on one foot giving all the support to one gender it does not make development go faster.’’

Newsmen reports that the team was saddled with reviewing, evaluating and give recommendations on how to improve the performance of women in politics.



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