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WIMBIZ leads discussion on women in politics today

The Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) will, today, hold its Women in Politics (WIMPOL) webinar with the theme: ‘The Nigerian Constitution & Elections: A Right to Win.’

The virtual session aims at increasing the representation of women in public office through influence and advocacy, with the objective of growing female representation from four per cent to 30 per cent in line with to the Beijing Declaration of 1995 and Platform for Action.

The webinar will explore conversations around mitigating the paucity of women in the Nigerian political sphere, the current provisions of the Nigerian Constitution on gender diversity in the political terrain and the need for increased representation of women in elective and appointive positions.

The webinar will also educate women in politics and women who aspire to explore the political sphere on the provisions of the constitution as it pertains to female participation in governance and politics.

In Nigeria, 3.8 per cent of women were elected in the 2019 elections, the worst in Africa where the average percentage of elected women is 24 per cent, with Rwanda leading the world at 61.25 per cent, South Africa with 46.35 per cent and Ethiopia at 38.76 per cent. Thirteen countries hold specifically reserved seats for women in parliament.

According to Inter-parliamentary union, 16 women out of 75 legislative bodies are female speakers in both upper and lower houses of parliament in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Ethiopia, Gabon, Lesotho, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

The Nigerian Constitution has no reference to quota or mention on gender parity, unlike constitutions like Kenya’s, where it specifically states in Article 27 (8) “that no more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies are of the same gender.”

Additionally, Article 81 further reiterates that the same rule should be applied to public institutions. This shows a deliberate attempt by the law of a country to close the gender gap and historical exclusion of women from leadership in politics.

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