NDI, AMDF Seek Media Support for Women Participation in Nigeria Politics
By ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
As part of measure to get women fully involved in Nigeria and Kaduna state in particular in politics, National Democratic Institute (NDI), at the weekend urged the media to support it in achieving its target.
Program Manager, Women in Politics (WiP) NDI, Halima Abubakar said the media being being opinion moulder for the society have crucial role to play in the implementation of women political representation project.
Halima made the plea at a Round table brain storm session for media practitioners in Kaduna, organized by Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) to get media commitment to the project.
She explained that the programme is aimed at providing women with support by strengthening their participation in politics both at the state and federal level, after identifying them, and then project them, expose them to the media to gain self confidence before sponsoring for political positions.
Halima laments the low level of women participation in Nigeria politics especially in Kaduna state where there are currently no female in any elective position, “women in Nigeria currently make up only -6 percent of legislators in the National Assembly.
“Women’s representation in Nigeria has drastically dropped since 2007 and risks declining further without robust action to stop the trend.”
Earlier in her remarks, Coordinator, AMDF, Sekyen Dadik noted that the programme is geared towards increasing opportunities for women to run by working with the media, religious leaders and other opinion makers to challenge negative stereotypes of women and also working with party leaders and activists, including male change agents to change party processes that has made it difficult for women to run for office.
Sekyen added that the project which is leveraging its global experience of 30 years of supporting women’s participation in 182 countries, and more than 17 years’ presence in Nigeria, is working with states and federal legislatures. Saying the project is being funded by DFID and implemented by the NDI.
Organizers said, the project seeks to support elected women legislators to become more effective and to serve as powerful role models for other women; consequently challenging negative stereotypes of women as leaders in politics.
NDI also seeks to work with women leaders and aspirants to provide support in navigating the formal and informal nomination procedures. NDI proposes a two prolonged approach to equip women with skills, strategy and support to navigate formal and informal nomination procedures and to succeed in office.
Apart from strengthening women’s representation in public office in Nigeria, organizers said there is an immediate needs to support those women that have reached the highest echelons of power, or aspire to enter elected office in 2019, and address barriers to their entering and operating effectively in politics.
Participants at meeting were drawn from various media organizations in Nigeria.