Nigeria government urged to scale up women political participation

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Nigeria Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen

The Federal Government of Nigeria has been urged to scale up efforts at ensuring a more robust participation of women in politics and in political office holding.

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon who made this known during a National Policy Dialogue in commemoration of the 2021 International Women’s Day, (IWD) said the active participation of women in politics will go a long way in addressing increasing challenges faced by women and girls even as nations grapple with recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Kallon said the theme for the 2021 IWD, Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World, is aimed at recognising the challenges faced by women and girls including those that have been created by the  pandemic adding that it also places emphasis on efforts of women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from COVID-19.

He said the theme is also particularly equally partinent to Nigeria’s context given the unacceptable low representation of women in political leadership and public life.

“Despite the many examples we can cite of world leafing women who hail from Nigerians, women only account for 5.8 and 7.3 percent respectively in both houses of the national assembly. 

“The pandemic has indeed exposed the systemic inequalities in societies, vulnerable populations includingchildren, older persons, persons living with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, youths, low income earners and and migrant population, are all experiencing the impact of the pandemic,” he said.. 

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development ( MWASD), Mrs. Pauline Taken who was also speaking at the occasion explained the various struggles of Nigerian women through the years while saying the IWD presents a unique opportunity for women to take stock of their demands for equality, development and peace.

Mrs. Tallen also said, this year’s theme beams a searching on the tremendous efforts made by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from Covid-19 pandemic adding that it also aligned with the priority theme of te 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, (CSW).”

The Country representative, UN Women, Comfort Lamptey, said that apart from forcing over 18 million girls out of school, the COVID-19 pandemic equally has equally exercebated income insecurity for women as recent research reveals that 98 percent of women owned businesses in Nigeria have been forced to either scale back or shut down because of Covid-19.

Lamprey said the increase in the unfair care burden on women and girls, further risks women’s exit from the Labour market.

“For women and girls living with disabilities, and women and girls affected by the conflict, the consequences have been further exacerbated by their intersecting vulnerabilities.”

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