Kaduna women under Kaduna Female Politicians Inter-party Forum, rose from their review meeting in Kaduna on Tuesday to call on political parties to create chances for women for better Nigeria.
The forum, which has women, most of whom have aspired and contested for one elective office or the other from different political parties, market women, media and other professional bodies as members, came to being, to serve as a voice to reckon with in terms of political and public affairs in Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole.
Fielding questions from the newsmen at the venue of the meeting in Barnawa, Kaduna, Executive Director, Legal Awareness for Nigeria Women (LEADS – Nigeria), Barrister Rebecca Sako-John said, her organisation in collaboration with National Democratic Institute (NDI), facilitated the meeting to increase women involvement and active participation in politics.
According to her, “we have earlier engaged young women from higher institutions across the state where we encourage them to start joining political parties and see the possibility of becoming party officials from that level after which they can build on that as time goes by.
“In the whole of the States in the Northwest geo-political zone, I’m not aware of any other woman elected as member of the state assembly apart from our own Comfort Amwe here in Kaduna state. That is not a good representation, if I may say.
“Political parties need to do more. They need to reserve some positions for women. We have witnessed poor female representation between 2015 and 2019 and that is why we are restrategising through courtesy call on the Kaduna State House of Assembly, governor Nasir El-Rufai and the deputy governor elect, Hajiya Hadiza Balarabe, looking at how women can be appointed to serve in key ministries, departments and agencies in Kaduna state.
“Apart from that, we are also partnering religious and traditionslal leaders, social media influencers and mainstream media to raise awareness in this regard,” she said.
Expressing concern over poor female representation in government, President, Women Mentoring and Leadership Initiative (WAMFOI), Right Hon Florence Aya, said, despite the efforts by non-governmental organizations working around good governance, the results have been discouraging.
She said, “we are meeting to review what we have been able to do since the beginning of the year. We want to see how women can be well represented in politics in Kaduna state.
“With my over 20 years experience in politics, we have not be getting the desired results despite the efforts by non-governmental organizations and I’m worried about that.
“What we can do to encourage female politicians is to first, bring more women in. Then, political parties should make delebrate plans by way of giving women slots right from the available offices within the parties, to cancelorshipship, chairmanship, house of assembly and so on.
“Look at the last election despite our efforts, only one woman was elected as member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly and that one woman, out of 19 of them, has been challenged in court. Nigeria should learn from other African countries like Botswana where more women are participating and effective in politics.”
Sola Ojo sent this report