Group condemns exclusion of women from political leadership

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 18 December 2014 | 3,490 times

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An Anambra-based non-governmental organisation, the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), has condemned the non-inclusive style of leadership practised in the state and the nation at large.

CIRDDOC Co-ordinator, Nze Jerry, made the condemneation on Monday while speaking on the topic, ‘Gender and women’s participation in politics’ at a one-day stakeholders meeting organised for selected stakeholders from Ajali, Awka North and Orumba communities. He said that women must be regarded as agents of change and carried along in the running of the polity.

Nze Jerry advised Nigeria to borrow a leaf from countries like Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda which have started implementing the 35% affirmative action. He said that women equal participation in decision making is not only a demand in the interest of justice but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women’s interest to be taken into account.

Nze Jerry urged women to cash in on their strength, noting that without the active participation of women and incorporation of women’s perspectives at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.

He further argued that the participation of women in running the affairs of any nation is essential because women do not concentrate on their issues alone but on development in general.

His words: “Women’s issues are essential human concerns to the same extent as men’s issues are critical human concerns. It needs women and men together to bring about development from household to the national level.

“Policy and programmes development an implementations will miss the key issue to address and can even become a failure if the different priorities and experiences of women and men are not taken into account.”

Speaking at the workshop, immediate past Anambra Chief of Staff, Prof. Chinyere Okunna, highlighted the need for women to build their self esteem to be able to face any challenge that may come with politics and public office.

While speaking on the topic, ‘Dissemination of findings of a study on the political performance of women in Anambra State from 2003-2014’, Okunna pointed out that certain factors like culture, religion, negative perception, self esteem and male chauvinism are barriers against women when it comes to the game of politics.

She however called on Anambra women to confront every impediment and contribute their quota to governance at all levels.

According to Okunna, who was a resource person at the workshop, “Women should ensure success in Nigeria by improving on their self esteem and facing any task squarely without intimidation. Even if you are scared, don’t show it. Believe you can do it and follow up through hardwork.

“Male political leaders of the land should believe more in women by ppointing more of them into political decision making positions.”

In his contribution, the state secretary of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Comrade Obi Iloegbunam, observed that women lack the capacity to believe in their fellow women. He added that except they cultivate the culture of supporting their fellow gender, women will continue to experience suppression from the men.

Iloegbunam called on women to stop their top-to-bottom approach in political play and deal with the grassroots, adding that the grassroots hold the key to political success and not the top as people believe.

“Women have the ability to throw support at their fellow gender and win massively but they should learn to support each other first and foremost, not running each other,” he said.

•Photo shows Prof. Okunna speaking during the workshop.

Source: News Express

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