2019: Former women affairs minister urges women to support their own

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Former Minister Aisha Alhassan
A former women affairs minister Aisha Alhassan has advised female voters to vote for female candidates in the 2019 general elections.
Alhassan, who is the Taraba governorship candidate of the United Development Party (UDP), made the call on Thursday in Jalingo, at a one-day awareness and sensitisation programme organised by the Federal ministry of Women Affairs.
The workshop was organised in collaboration with UNWomen, to enlighten women in the North-East geo-political zone on the need to fully participate in the 2019 general elections.
The UDP flag bearer, however, said that she did not believe in women liberation, arguing that women were created as partners to men “and not weak and helpless slaves in dire need of liberation”.
She cautioned women against petty envy and jealousy urging them to work for each other to enable them have a say, individually and collectively, on how society was governed.
“This sensitisation programme affords us the opportunity to reflect on the plight of Nigerian women in politics.
“While it is clear that the men will always want to suppress the womenfolks, I believe that if the women decide to support their fellow women, we can make a woman the next Nigerian President.
“We have the numbers and we are the ones that do most of the voting.
“We can decide who rules Nigeria if we realise our collective potentials and take advantage of it,” she said.
In her speech, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, blamed the low participation and representation of women in politics on “entrenched socio-cultural practices which are discriminatory against the women”.
“Such practices have made the society so patriarchal that most Nigerians, including women, have come to accept the traditional perspective that women are inferior, weak, and must remain under the absolute control of men,” she said.
The minister said that the huge financial implications of politicking, religious practices and deliberate efforts by political parties to humiliate and frustrate women in politics had driven many women from politics and ensured that the men dominate the political scene.
“With such dominance, politics is made to look like a man’s affair that no women should not venture into,” she said.
Mrs. Janet Audu, who is contesting a Taraba House of Assembly seat on the ticket of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), in her remarks, said that the challenges women face when participating in politics were enormous but not insurmountable.
“The challenges are massive, but women are capable of achieving whatever they set their minds to achieve,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the programme, which featured paper presentations on women participation in politics and governance, drew women participants from Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States. (NAN)

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