The 2023 Elections in Nigeria marked a disappointing outing for Nigerian women, with only a handful of female candidates being elected into political positions.
Out of the 378 women who contested for Senate and House of Representatives seats, only 17 were successful, representing a mere 4.5% of the total seats available.
Similarly, out of the 988 state assembly seats across the 36 states of the federation, only 48 female lawmakers, representing 4.85 per cent, were elected in the just concluded elections.
The poor representation of women in politics is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. Despite the increasing number of women contesting for political positions in recent years, the percentage of female politicians in the country remains significantly low.
The 2023 elections, unfortunately, did little to improve this trend.
One of the major factors responsible for the poor outing of women in the elections is the general undermining of their capabilities. Women are often seen as inferior to men, especially in leadership positions, and this attitude is reflected in the low level of support that female candidates receive from both men and women. This leads to a lack of confidence and motivation for women to participate actively in politics.
Another factor is the passive participation of women in politics. Women often lack the necessary support, encouragement, and resources to participate actively in political activities. This is due to the societal norms and cultural beliefs that prioritize the role of women as caregivers and homemakers rather than leaders and decision-makers.
This makes it difficult for women to navigate the political arena, especially in a patriarchal society like Nigeria.
Furthermore, women have not been able to prove their mettle alongside their male counterparts. This is partly because of the lack of opportunities available to women to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience needed to excel in politics.
Female candidates are often not given a level playing field, and this leads to a lack of visibility and recognition.
The poor outing of women in the 2023 elections is a cause for concern. It highlights the urgent need for Nigeria to adopt effective policies that will attract more women into decision-making at all levels in public and private affairs.
Such policies should include affirmative action, gender mainstreaming, and the elimination of gender-based discrimination. Nigeria must also work to create an enabling environment for women to participate actively in politics by providing the necessary resources, support, and encouragement.
In conclusion, the low representation of women in Nigerian politics is a reflection of the societal norms and cultural beliefs that prioritize men over women. It is imperative that Nigeria takes steps to address these issues and promote gender equality and inclusiveness in politics.
Women have the potential to contribute significantly to the development of the country, and their voices must be heard in decision-making processes. The time to act is now.