UN Report Highlights Concerns Over Declining Women’s Participation in Nigeria’s 2023 Elections

The United Nations has described as a “worrying trend” the low participation of women in politics and governance in the country’s current dispensation at national and State levels, especially in the last 2023 general elections.

It specifically said data collected showed that Nigeria is retrogressing in that regard, adding that women should wake up and challenge the status quo by not allowing the situation to dampen their morale.

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The representative of UN Women, Mr Goremmurs Zephaniah, stated this in Abuja during the inauguration of a new executive council for the League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWV).

Zephaniah, while expressing his satisfactions about the initiative of women under the aegis of NILOWV said the measure was a step in the right direction to “reverse the worrying trend of the retrogressing data of women in politics as revealed by the 2023 elections.”

He said, “Data from the 2023 elections shows that Nigeria is retrogressing in terms of women participation in politics. At the national level, the percentage stands at four while at the state level it’s at 5.44 percent. This should not dampen your spirits, stand strong, and collaborate to beat it.”

Speaking earlier, the President of NILOWV, Irene Ikyegh, also expressed worries over the low participation of women in politics while calling for urgent measures to address the challenge.

Ikyegh explained that NILOWV was founded in 1996 to help women play a larger role in government and public affairs in Nigeria in consonance with the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.

She said in the bid to empower women to do more in the governance space, NILOWV intended to construct a women’s civic center intended to be a hub for training and developing women on policy and political participation.

Ikyegh said, “The idea is for younger women desirous of making an impact in partisan politics to learn from the documented experiences of women who have gone ahead of them.

“Though with the ever-changing dynamics, it is believed that these younger women would be better able to navigate the political landscape and make faster progress.”

On his part, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, said the establishment of NILOWV was a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering determination of Nigerian women to actively participate in shaping the future of Nigeria.

Kalu, who Lilian Agbazue represented, said the green chamber recognizes the importance of creating more access for women in the legislative process.

He said, “To this end, the house has undertaken several initiatives to review laws and sections of the constitution, gender-sensitive legislation such as affirmative actions, legislative advocacy, and public consultations.

“The House is working tirelessly towards fostering a more inclusive and empowering legislative environment for women.”

Source: Guardian News

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