Stakeholders call for more women’s participation in political leadership positions
To ensure more women get into political leadership positions in Nigeria, there is a need to promote gender mainstreaming, and values for community development through the media.
This was the submission of stakeholders, including community leaders, party, and media representatives, who gathered at a one-day sentisation workshop, held at Place2Be, Alimosho, Lagos.
The workshop, being implemented by the Institute for Media and Society, is part of activities under the European Union Support on Agents for Citizens-Driven Transformation (EU-ACT) Programme, and coordinated by the British Council.
Participants shared experiences and discussed issues on inclusive participation of women, People Living with Disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.
The women participants expressed dissatisfaction with the system of handpicking political office holders, which they believe has not allowed them to be able to gain the full benefit of politics commensurate with their number in political participation.
They called on party policymakers to come up with policies that will allow more women to be given equal opportunities to vie for elective positions, adding that, it Is the only way there can be more women in leadership positions.
Dr. Ismail Olawale, a Strategic Communication specialist, observed that women’s participation in politics is enormous but is not adequately rewarded. He charged the women in Lagos, to begin to go into extracting data, that will actually reflect their strength, and capacity, in terms of how they vote or place a politician in office. This can be used on the negotiation table, to bring in more women into leadership positions, he opined.
He harped on a deliberate re-orientation mindset for women to preserve their integrity and home front, adding that women should see themselves as divine creatures, instead of allowing politics to define them.
Funmi Falobi, Editor of Social Development News called for stronger partnerships between the media, women in politics, and PWDs to address challenges being faced in getting into positions
“It’s only by partnering appropriately with the media that they can amplify the voices of women and other vulnerable groups so that the government, policymakers, and lawmakers will see that there is a need for us to have more women in political leadership in Nigeria.
Representatives of the PWD noted the needs of the disabled in society are not prioritised and there is a lot of labeling and stigmatization by the able-bodied.
They called for a more strategic relationship between the PWDs, policymakers, and the people so that there can be aware of their needs.
Earlier, Akin Akingbule, Executive Director of IMS in his opening remarks stated that the aim of the workshop is to sensitise participants on barriers to inclusive participation of women, people living with disabilities, PWDs, and other vulnerable groups, and the role that can be played by key stakeholders, such as the media to address those challenges.