The International Press Centre (IPC) has called on stakeholders to involve women in democratic governance, citing the 2019 elections in which few women contested for or won elective positions as a reason.
According to a statement by IPC in commemoration of the 2019 edition of the International Women’s Day, IPC Director, Lanre Arogundade, said it was imperative for Nigerian women who accounted for about 47 per cent (39,598,645 million) of the 84,004.084 million registered voters nationwide to be adequately mainstreamed into governance structure.
The theme of this year’s event is, #BalanceforBetter and IPC said the inclusion of women would bring an improvement on the preliminary outcomes of the February 23, 2019 National Assembly elections especially, according to the statement signed by its Programme Manager.
“It is saddening that the outcome of the February 23 national assembly elections has shown that the women have lost out, in increasing their tally in the National Assembly. Against the present eight National Assembly which has a combined membership of 469, consisting of eight female senators and 15 female House members, it is worrisome that the ninth National Assembly to be inaugurated in June, will only have six female senators-elect and 13 female House members-elect.
“This is not too good for a robust and gender friendly legislative process. We are therefore calling on stakeholders to galvanize actions to engender women in appointive positions even as it is hoped that the electorates would be disposed to vote women in the March 9 governorship and state assembly elections”, Arogundade noted.
He added that there was no better time to ensure gender inclusion than now and that women continue to face “all forms of discrimination and challenges in their quest to contribute their quota to the development of society.
He, however, expressed optimism that this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, would ensure “greater consolidation of efforts by stakeholders to ensure that women have priority considerations in appointive positions.”
This, he said, would ensure that women are not left behind and are able to contribute their quota in the schemes of affairs of Nigeria’s democratic and social polity.