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Nigeria has lowest rate of women’s legislative participation in Sub-Saharan Africa ― IRI/NDI

Victor Ogunyinka

The International Republic Institue (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) have revealed that the Nigerian Senate has the lowest rate of women’s legislative participation in Sub-Saharan African.

IRI, Sub-Sahara Africa, legislative
Distribution of Seats in the Senate by Party and Gender as of June 3. PHOTO: IRI/NDI

The organisation also noted that the number is a far cry to the region’s average of 24 per cent.

The submission was included in the IRI/NDI International Election Observation Mission Final Report, which also expressed that the numbers of women elected into the Senate reduced from seven in 2015 to six in 2019.

In the same vein, the report also established that the House of Representatives also suffered a decline from 20 women in 2015 to 12 in 2019.

The report said: “…As a result of the 2019 elections, the All Progressive Congress (APC) achieved majorities in both chambers of the National Assembly. The APC had a similarly strong majority coming out of the 2015 elections but lost those majorities in 2018 after a wave of defections of senators and representatives to the PDP.

“In 2019, the PDP saw a reduction in the number of seats it holds in both chambers. These elections witnessed the emergence of new parties with representation in the National Assembly, including the Young Progressives Party (YPP) which won one seat in the Senate.

“The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) also increased its seats in the House of Representatives from four to nine but
lost its only seat in the Senate. As of the publication of this report, INEC had not released consolidated results from
the National Assembly elections, including turnout figures and result totals for winning candidates.

“The number of women elected declined after the 2019 elections, particularly in the National Assembly. The number
elected to the Senate decreased from seven in 2015 to six in 2019. The number of women elected to the House of
Representatives similarly declined from 20 in 2015 to just 12 in 2019.

“Combined, only 3.8 per cent of members of the National Assembly are women, the lowest rate for women’s legislative participation in Sub-Saharan Africa and far below the region’s average of 24 per cent.”

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