By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A group under the auspice of Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative, (EWEI), has said that the Nigerian women are more marginalized particularly during democratic processes in the country.
Programme Officer, Organizational Development and Learning, (POODL), of the group, Ms. Grace Attah, stated this at a 3-day empowerment seminar on Civic Education and Participation for Women Project, (CEPWOP) in decision making and politics in the country held in Kaduna on Thursday.
Attah said that CEPWOP was designed as a means to address the under-representation of women and excluded groups in the political space, adding that the group has contributed towards the achievement of SDG4 and 10 and had engaged 2,584 beneficiaries from 2008 to 2017.
According to her, in 2011, only 909 females contested for elective positions, representing about 9.1 per cent of the over 10,000 candidates in the country. Giving a breakdown across the geopolitical zones of the country as follow: South-west recorded 2,116 candidates in the election representing 15.5 per cent, South-east 1,611 candidates representing11.9 per cent, while South-south recorded 1,624 candidates representing 10.5 per cent.
Others she said include; North-central 1,471 candidates representing 4.2 per cent, and North-east 1,187 candidates representing 8.5 per cent, while North-West recorded 2,088 candidates representing 2.3 per cent respectively.
The EWEI POODL, said the above indices has not changed much during the 2015 general elections, and considering that 2019 is at the corner, the Nigerian women are still far behind going by the result of political parties’ primary elections in the country.
Attah further said that CEPWOP intends to achieve this through civic education which is an important and effective tool that facilitates the participation of citizens in democratic processes and development processes, hence the importance of the empowerment seminar.
“CEPWOP is giving a voice to citizen’s concerns and encouraging participatory governance through mobilisation, by providing sufficient information about a programme contents and objects in order to elicit the support and participation of the people in the programme.
“We have reached out to more than 2,584 women and girls as at 2017, and planned to do more to involved as many women as possible by the end of 2018,” she said.
One of the facilitators, Professor Julius Gwani, of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, in his presentation, “Election Monitoring and Observation” said that election observation is a valuable tool for improving the quality of election as observers do not directly prevent electoral fraud but rather, record and report such infractions.