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Gender equality in Nigeria: Three the reason why girls aren’t represented in politics

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In March 2022, Nigerian girls suffered backlash of their pursuit of gender fairness. 5 gender payments introduced to the Nationwide Meeting were thrown out.

The payments sought to advance girls’s rights on plenty of fronts. These included: offering particular seats for girls on the Nationwide Meeting; allocating 35% of political place appointments to girls; creating 111 further seats within the Nationwide Meeting and the state constituent assemblies; and a dedication to girls having not less than 10% of ministerial appointments.

The rejection of the payments confirmed that the meeting wasn’t fascinated by gender parity in politics. It has 469 members. Only 21 are women.

It is a tragedy for Nigerian girls, whose illustration in politics falls in need of the purpose set by the National Gender Policy in 2006. This coverage calls for that 35% of ladies be concerned in all governance processes.

Girls make up about 49% of Nigeria’s inhabitants. Their illustration in authorities is a far cry from what’s been achieved in different international locations on the continent. For instance, in Rwanda girls make up 61.3% of members of parliament. In South Africa, they make up 46.5% of the nation’s parliament.

Girls performed necessary roles within the struggle for independence. They wrote petitions, staged protests, mobilised and challenged all types of oppression and suppression which permeated their financial, socio-cultural and political areas. Additionally, throughout the years of navy rule a major variety of Nigerian girls stood their floor throughout governance strata, and spoke fact to energy.

Since protracted navy rule was led to 1999, beforehand marginalised populations and segments of the nation have gained the arrogance to take part in governance. However the going has been sluggish for girls.

As my research reveals, there’s solely lip service dedication to gender mainstreaming throughout electoral processes in Nigeria. My study with David Enweremadu highlighted the dearth of ladies’s illustration in parliament, in addition to amongst safety personnel, get together brokers, media, observers and voters throughout electoral processes.

Warped media portrayal of women additionally contributes to the exclusion of ladies. The rejected gender and equal alternative invoice would have resolved this.

There are three predominant causes for the exclusion of ladies.

Firstly, there’s a lack of voter education. Secondly, girls are disproportionately excluded from coverage making domains as a result of extra dwell in poverty than males. Thirdly, there’s extra ethical scrutiny of ladies than males.

Lack of voter training

Girls play varied roles in elections. They act as cheerleaders at political rallies, run grassroots (usually door-to-door) campaigns, organise protests towards election misconduct, vie for political workplace and function political appointees, amongst others.

But most lack voter training. Voter training should tackle gendered contexts. It have to be carried out by our bodies such because the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee in addition to civil society.

The function of poverty

Women constitute a larger proportion of poor people within the nation.

This hampers gender equality in political illustration as a result of poverty denies girls the monetary and human sources required for management positions. The Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee’s Gender Policy, which supplies particular measures to cope with girls’s marginalisation in politics, must be revisited to make sure it’s applied to the letter.


One other tactic used to maintain girls out of politics is what I’ve termed “feminised corruption”. In a latest paper I confirmed how the extent of corruption was perceived in a different way when girls had been concerned in comparison with males.

The research noticed that ethnicity, age, class and academic background aren’t essentially contributory to how corruption is feminised in Nigeria. However being a girl within the political house is. This looks like a deliberate effort to weaponise corruption towards girls in politics and management.

Quite a lot of excessive rating Nigerian girls have been caught on this net. Amongst them are Patricia Etteh, first feminine speaker of the Federal Home of Representatives, who was accused of unauthorised spending of 628 million naira (about US$5 million); Stella Oduah, former Minister of Aviation, indicted for alleged fraud of about 5 billion naira; Winifred Oyo-Ita, former Head of Service of the Federation, who was accused of 570 million naira fraud costs; Diezani Allison Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Sources, who was accused of cash laundering; Kemi Adeosun, former Minister of Finance, who was accused of certificates forgery; and Adenike Grange, former Minister of Well being, indicted for allegedly stealing public funds.

Every of the indictments towards these girls has its peculiarities. However I argue they’re related by the truth that not one of the circumstances has been dropped at a authorized conclusion. That is uncommon and suspicious. Some corruption circumstances towards males have been dropped at authorized conclusion.

On high of this, a number of corruption circumstances involving males haven’t been given as a lot consideration because the circumstances involving girls. And, in lots of circumstances, males indicted for corruption have escaped opprobrium and returned triumphantly to politics.

The reverse is true for feminine politicians who, as soon as indicted for corruption, withdraw in disgrace and largely by no means return to politics.

Apart from, girls in politics must endure shut scrutiny of their non-public lives. This contains shaming relations and objectifying girls’s our bodies by politicising private gadgets such as jewellery, shoes and bras.

What must be achieved

The three challenges to girls’s political illustration in Nigeria aren’t insurmountable.

Voter training should seize the worldwide quest for gender parity and place it in native contexts.

Gender insurance policies have to be applied and monitored.

Feminised poverty requires interventions to cut back wealth disparities.

The abuse of ladies indicted for corruption have to be nipped within the bud.