From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The chairman, Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM), Mrs. Hannatu Usman Biniyat has advised Nigerian women to lobby for political positions and not to force themselves on parties, a situation she said, will make them relevant and also create an impact on the society.
Mrs. Biniyat gave the advice yesterday while delivering a paper titled “Gender issues in the electoral process” at a one day sensitization workshop for female voters, organized by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with its counterpart in the state.
The KADSIECOM chairman identified political parties as one of the institutions affecting women’s political participation saying that women must lobby the political parties in order to be relevant in the country.
“In most countries, parties determine which candidates are nominated and elected and which issues achieve national prominence. The role of women in political parties is therefore a key determinant of their prospects for political empowerment, particularly at the national level. Because political parties are so influential in shaping women’s political prospects, governments and international organizations seeking to advance the participation of women in elections justifiably tend to focus on the role of political parties,” she said.
Mrs. Binniyat frowned at the dismal performance of women in previous elections and also expressed reservations with the women who occupy only the women leader’s post and not other posts.
“Before the election proper women usually show up but the number of men over shadows them. Take for instance in 2008, we had 1,191 participant politicians. Out of the 1,191, males were 1,016 while 85 were females. But during the election proper the number of men dropped but not as drastic as that of women which dropped from 85 to 23 and when we are talking about the local government elections in Kaduna State it is to fill the position of 278 seats which includes 255 councillorships and 23 chairmanships. Out of the 278 seat the number of women available to contest is only 23 and out of the 23, only 5 women were elected (only one emerged as chairmen while the remaining 4 were councillors).
“The story was even worst in 2012, instead of going forward the number drop drastically. And the elected seats we got is only 4 councillors.
This are gender issues and you will trace the problem back to the political parties.