By Josephine Agbonkhese
ElectHER, a non-partisan women’s political advancement organisation, has vowed to ensure that the poor representation of women in politics experienced in 2019 will not be the case in 2023.
“We will ensure that women ‘Decide, Run and Win. We are on a mission to support 1000 women to run for office in 2023,’ said its co-Founders, Abosede George-Ogan and Ibijoke Faborode, during a media brief ahead of the organisation’s one-year anniversary celebration holding Saturday, December 19th, 2020, in Lagos.
Asserting that policy outcomes will remain poor and ineffective, and that nation-building and socio-economic progression cannot be attained without equal representation, Faborode said: “ElectHER is not going to do the same thing people have been doing.
“All women who have ever won elections, won because they had women who voted them into office. So, at ElectHER, we target two sets of women; the woman that is going to run for election and the woman that will elect her into office.”
Highlighting strategies that will be employed ahead of 2023 as she unveiled the first-year anniversary’s theme ‘A New Agender’ coined from the words ‘agenda’ and ‘gender’, she said the organisation will work with the grassroots and all other stakeholders; including male folks and political party leaders, to sensitise them on why women should be elected into office.
“We will also continue to innovate in our approach, using creative, technological solutions and policy advocacy, among others. There has to be different strategies in different areas to shape minds. There will also be collaborations with organisations across the country,” she went on.
On how the organisation will address the challenge of funding faced by women political aspirants, George-Ogan disclosed that ElectHER will provide 50% of the fund needed to back the political ambitions of women aspirants in its database.
While reflecting on the past year, the co-Founders revealed that the journey so far had led to the creation of several projects and platforms required to initiate and effect the desired change.
They said: “We launched the DecideToRun Network; the first ever digital network and national recruitment platform for women aspiring to run for elective offices in Nigeria.
“We also hosted a monthly webinar series, a thought leadership platform that engages experts and major stakeholders through topical discussions on issues that affect women in politics to identify solutions.
“In addition, we recently launched ‘When She Leads’, a virtual talk show that addresses misinformation and underrepresentation of women by media, and curates the journey of women who are currently in elective offices, as well as those that have ever been elected.
“We have also gone ahead to engage stakeholders and citizens in our first ever consultative forum and townhall meeting respectively.
“Through our partnership with The Platform Capital Group made up of Diatom Impact and Unicorn Group, and the National Endowment for Democracy, NED, we secured a $100,000 grant within the first seven months of operation.
“Our digital footprint has also grown tremendously in a short amount of time, with almost 10,000 followers across all social media platforms.”
Abosede added that a few of the projects everyone should anticipate as the organisation clocks one, include, the ElectHER Academy, a hybrid learning programme developed to build the capacity of women for election; an art symposium designed to combine the love for art with conscious messaging around women empowerment; and impact storytelling through a documentary that will highlight critical issues facing women who are interested in politics.