2023: Women’s forum lament over declining numbers of women in politics

As the preparation for the 2023 general elections is gearing up across the country, a non-governmental organization advocating for the increase of women in politics called Women In Politics Forum (WIPF), has condemned the continuous declining numbers of Nigerian women participating in politics.

Addressing newsmen at the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Sokoto State chapter on Friday, the President of the Women In Politics Forum, while reacting to a research conducted on interrogating the policy interventions to increase women’s participation in governance in Nigeria.

Barrister Ebere Ifendu disclosed that in the recent list published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the number of women seeking elective posts in both the presidency and the national assembly stands at 8.9% of the total candidates.

According to Ifendu, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday released the final list of Presidential and national assembly candidates for the 2023 general elections. The list shows that all the 18 political parties in the country fielded candidates for the National Assembly across the 18 political parties in the country.

“For the National Assembly, 1,101 candidates are vying for 109 Senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates are contesting for House of Representative seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting for 469 legislative positions.

“An analysis of the candidates according to gender shows that there is only 1 female candidate for the Presidential election, candidate of the APM and this represents just 2.77 per cent.

“For the Senate, out of the 1,101 candidates vying for 109 senatorial seats, 92 are women representing 8.35% while 288 women are contesting for House of Representative out of the total 3,122 candidates, representing 9.2%.

“Cumulatively, there are 381 women among the total of 4,259 contestants for the presidency which represents 8.9 per cent of the candidates. ”

The group also said in Sokoto State, the 2019 general elections saw no woman elected in either National or state assemblies compared to five women candidates on the recent INEC list.

“It is no longer news that at the end of 2019 general elections, women made up 4.71% of the elected officials, showing a decline from the 2015 period when women made up 5.6% of the elected officials”

The group however said the survey indicated that the government and political parties have a vital role to play in the advancement of women’s participation in politics and governments.

It further enjoyed respondents from different backgrounds, locations, gender, politics, participation, and experiences among others.

The group also called for necessary steps to ensure that the unfortunate trend is turned for wholesome national progress and development.

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