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December 20, 2019

Work harder to reduce Male domination of political space ― Ekiti Deputy Gov tells women

Work harder to reduce Male domination of political space ― Ekiti Deputy Gov tells women

…Says 19 female NASS members too low

Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

Women in Nigeria have been urged to work harder and reduce the male domination of the political space.

Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who gave the advice on Friday, said there is the need for more women to enter the political arena and vie for elective offices to contribute their quota to the nation’s development.

He said power is not ceded on a platter of gold but competed for.

The Deputy Governor spoke at a one-day Gender Summit organised by a civil society organisation, New Initiative for Social Development (NISD) in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

The Deputy Governor, according to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, said women representation in Nigerian politics is still low compared to some African countries and other parts of the world.

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He, however, hailed the wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, for being instrumental to the emergence of four women as members of the State House of Assembly and more women political office holders in the last local government election in the state.

To realise the dream of rising to top political positions including governorship and Presidency, Egbeyemi enjoined more women to join political parties of their choice and seek nominations for elective offices.

Egbeyemi recalled that after the 2019 general elections, only 19 women made it to the National Assembly urging relevant stakeholders to work harder to reverse the trend.

According to him, “nineteen female members in the National Assembly in a country of about 200 million people is too low” despite the fact that women constitute the largest bloc of voters in Nigeria.

The state number two citizen said Nigeria should take a cue from African countries like Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique which had demonstrated strong commitment to reducing male dominance of the political arena.

He maintained that access to political power can only be made possible by membership of political parties since independent candidacy is not in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Egbeyemi assured on the readiness of the Kayode Fayemi administration to facilitate programmes and policies that would encourage women participation in politics and their contribution to the growth of democracy in the state.

The convener of the summit, Mr. Olamide Martins, said the event was an opportunity for stakeholders to rub minds together on the need to empower women to seek political positions to better the welfare of the citizenry.

He said women should be given chance to contribute to governance having been acknowledged as better managers of resources.

The Ekiti Women Policy Agenda was adopted at the summit which also witnessed presentations of the Equal Opportunities Law 2013 and Gender-Based Violence Law 2019.

The summit was attended by representatives of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN), National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Ekiti Women Advocacy Team, Women in Politics and other stakeholders.

Vanguard News Nigeria