By Nnamdi Ojiego
To bridge the inequality gap between men and women in politics, ElectHER, a non partisan organization focused on getting women into elective offices, has unveiled $10m fund to empower 1000 women, and directly fund 35 women to contest the 2023 elections.
With the $10m non-partisan fund, ElectHER said it will provide matching funds to directly support two women to run for executive office, three women to contest senatorial seats, 15 women to run for Federal House of Representatives seats and 15 women to vie for State House of Assembly seats. Each woman, according to the group, will receive a support pathway through the organization’s comprehensive four-step approach which is to; Engage, Encourage, Equip and Enable.
Speaking during an interactive session with partners, journalists and other stakeholders to unveil Agender35, at the organization’s headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos, Co-founder and Executive Director of ElectHER, Ibijoke Faborode, Monday, explained that the initiative was a deliberate effort to significantly de-risk the process of women running for elective office and increase women’s political representation in Nigeria by 2023.
She said: “Agender 35 is a movement that requires the collective efforts of all critical stakeholders – citizens, the media, political parties, the private sector, and also the government. It will increase women’s political representation in Nigeria by 2023, through a three-point Agender which are: to set up a$10m fund to empower 1000 women, and directly fund 35 women to decide, run, and win in the 2023 elections; to advocate for the legislation of a minimum 35 per cent women’s representation quota in appointive and elective office; and to sensitize voters and engage citizens on the fire need for women’s representation ahead of 2023.”
While commending the partners particularly, Platform Capital Group, Faborode said: “If we maintain the current level of ignorance on socio-political issues, there will be no country in the next two decades. This is why the bold support from Platform Capital – a critical private sector ally and Agender35 anchor partner, who has committed $2 million through its impact division – Diatom Impact, presents an enabling environment to effectively challenge the status quo and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships.”
Contributing, Abosede George-Ogan, also a co-founder of ElectHER, said the society benefits more when women are in political leadership and at the highest levels of power and decision making.
“If what we want as a people is a better Nigeria regardless of tribe, ethnicity, religion, geography, or generation, then, we must unite around the Agender35 campaign and give women the opportunity they deserve so they can show us what they are capable of. I will encourage everyone who is tired, feel like giving up or those who think they have no business with politics to join us on this journey”, she appealed.
In his presentation, the Chairman of Platform Capital Group, Dr. Akintoye Akindele, stated that his company’s obsession with changing the African narrative was holistic and not limited to business alone.
“We believe that promoting women in leadership and supporting their participation in politics and policy making across all levels of society is critical to ensure the Africa of tomorrow emerges. We are supporting Agender35 through our partnership with ElectHER, to fund, deliver programmes and resources to empower and equip women to campaign, run and be elected for office.”