Women Roles relegated to Women Mobilization only in Nigeria Political Parties – Research has shown
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
A research on women participation in politics in Nigeria, has shown that the roles assigned to women by political parties is only tailored to women mobilization.
A preliminary findings of “Capacity Assessment of Women’s Wings of Political Parties in Nigeria, conducted in Kaduna State by Dinidari Foundation with support from UN Women under their Women Participation in Politics.
Four major political parties; the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) were used as case study for the research.
According to the research, the role of women in political part wings in other democracies among other things, includes: to advocate within the party on issues of particular concern to women constituents and women party members and influence the party platform and policies, because of their relative independence to the central party leadership.
Lobby for and oversee internal party reform, including the implementation of voluntary quotas for women’s political participation, as seen in both South Africa and Ireland.
This however, is different in Nigeria as all the roles carved out for women by political parties in Nigeria are geared towards mobilization of other women for elections.
Findings of the research revealed that most women leaders in political parties were selected based on their capacity to mobilize other women not based on inclusiveness or gender quotas.
Some respondents in the political parties sees it as a way of encouraging women to join politics by assuring them of inclusion, “we share things like food items to the women so that they can join the party’’, and ‘’workshop empowerments, we make food and give the women so that they don’t go to another party”. It added.
The document noted that though all the major political parties have at least a statement of commitment to increase women participation in politics
in their manifesto. While PDP and Labour Party had a quota (30%) assigned for women in politics in their manifestoes, only Labour Party have a monitoring and evaluation plan for the assigned quota for women in politics as part of its party manifesto.
It identified lack of finance, discrimination by men, poor leadership skills, lack of cooperation, low awareness, neglect of women in party affairs as main barriers hindering women participation in Nigeria, especially Kaduna State.
It therefore, proposes release of funds for the mobilization of grassroots women, women empowerment, educating women on their political rights, and engaging men in political positions to support women as possible solutions to the barriers.
A Development Research Consultant and Educationists, Rachael Akingbehin, who made the presentation on behalf of the Foundation, during a validation meeting in Kaduna Tuesday, noted that women wing in political parties are supposed to be advocates for women inclusivity, but that the case is different in Kaduna and Nigeria in general.
She said the research is still ongoing, but it was necessary a preliminary findings so far was released so that it would be validated to capture other issues ahead to the 2023 general elections.
On her part, Clara Jack, of Dinidari Foundation, said the essence of the project was an opportunity for the NGO to meet with the women in politics and hear their grievances so that a capacity building program can be prepared for them.
“We don’t want women participation in politics to continue to be a topic in textbook. You can see that the women are raising practical reasons and the see not happy with the way they have been relegated and they don’t get any representation.
“A capacity assessment training would be organized for them in December this year, where we will come back with all the participants, answer all their questions and also give them tools on how they can actualize this women participation in politics.
“We have collated the questions they have on the data we have received so that we can tailor the capacity training materials to fit in to the particular problems they are having. We are not here to give them empty answers, we are here to answer their particular questions and train them”. Clara explained.