Nigeria

UN official: Nigeria’s female representation in governance lowest in the world

A United Nations (UN) official has ranked Nigeria the lowest in the world in the area of allocating elective and leadership positions to women.

Angela Muruli, the Programme Analyst of UN Women, said this during an interview with journalists during the inauguration of the Network of Young Women in Politics, on Tuesday.

She, therefore, demanded not less than 50 per cent representation of women in the elective positions in the 2023 general elections.

Muruli said it was important for women in Nigeria to be involved in politics because when women are involved in leadership, they make decisions that benefit the whole society.

The UN official said, “For starters, Nigeria has almost the lowest representation for women in sub-Sahara Africa and in fact in the world. So, for the giant of Africa, it is quite worrying that half of the population are not ably represented by people who look like them in spaces of power.

“So, it is very important, because we know that when women are involved in leadership, they make decisions that benefit the whole society because the society is not just men.

“They can speak to issues that really affect them and subsequently issues that affect communities because we know that when women are financially independent, it betters the whole community.

“We have also seen during COVID-19 pandemic how states and countries who have women in positions of power and leadership have recovered a lot better than in countries where women are not in leadership.

“There is no necessary number for best practice but we live in a world where 50 per cent or even maybe slightly more are women. So, what we would like to see globally are societies where women have equal participation, so that is 50-50.”

On her part, the President, WIPF, Ebere Ifendu, noted that the programme would be sustained in a vociferous manner towards 2023 general elections.

According to her, “The men have stolen so much and so they can do whatever they like with their money. But we don’t have the money, we have the numbers and if we decide not to support a man contesting an election, that man will not win and that is the truth.

“Yes, for me from the beginning, I have always said 50-50, I have never been an advocate of affirmative action. It is important for women to actually know that this thing is something we can all do, we have the capacity as much as the men.

“When it comes to men people don’t talk about qualification, they just say send the men there, just let’s have them there but when it comes to us, they are beginning to bring every criterion that they want to use against us.”

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