Taking a giant stride

 
Sun Sep 16th, 2018 - Adamawa
 

By Olabisi Salis

In recent times, there seems to have been a strong rebirth among women, who have to abdicate their traditional place in the kitchen to enter the political terrain.

The Beijing declaration specifically called for 35% representation of women in all spheres of government.

This translates in reality to the fact that women should constitute 35 percent of the 109 members of the Senate (meaning 38 female senators), 35 percent of the 360 members of the House of Representatives (meaning 126 female members), while such should invariably apply to all the 774 local government areas of the country and the 36 states of the federation.

_However a good look at the eighth National Assembly shows that only seven women were elected notably:

1). Stella Oduah (Anambra North)

2). Rose Oko (Cross River North)

3). Abiodun Olujimi (Ekiti South)

4). Fatimat Raji Rasaki (Ekiti Central)

5). Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central)

6). Binta Garba (Adamawa North)

7). Alhaja Monsurat Sunmoun (Oyo)

Although the Beijing declaration allocates a certain percentage of political positions to women, constitutional provisions do not provide for an arrangement which will give the offices to women. Meanwhile, since the concept of democracy provides a contest for political offices, women should take the bull by the horns by contesting in the 2019 general elections.

Lamenting the plight of Nigerian women who have the lowest number of representation in the African legislature, Prince Uche Secondus, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), reinvigorated the hope of Nigerian women in elective positions while delivering a speech at the 2018 International Women’s Day celebration. “I see a country, where women will participate in the highest level of politics, since we have failed over the years in our respective governance”, he said.

“One day we shall have a woman as president. I apologize to women on behalf of we men that had been saddled with state responsibilities over the years and have failed to deliver on their mandates”. As the 2019 general elections approach, the need for an appraisal of the role of women in goverance and decision making process becomes even more imperative.

A United Nations survey once revealed that when women lead, economies grow. This is the case with Britain where Mrs. Theresa May is Prime Minister, Germany where Chancellor Angelo Markel is the head and Croatia where Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic is at the helm of affairs.

As the 2019 elections fast approach, I as a woman and politician ask our women to come together, mobilize and vote for women politicians who seek our votes to win elective posts.

Furthermore, I solicit the women folk that we align with only parties who will not give us fishes alone but will equally allow us to fish. As astute business women and politicians we must be proactively active, we must not be seen as people who are politically emotional and cannot take strong decisions. Finally, we must break out of the cultural and religious web which sees women as the weaker sex come 2019 general elections; we shall get there.

*Salis is a former senatorial aspirant in Lagos State and a business woman.

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source: Vanguard