Emily Johnson
Thu, Sep 7, 2023 7:35 PM

Low Inclusion of Women in Governance in Nigeria: A Call for Change

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Low Inclusion of Women in Governance in Nigeria: A Call for Change
The low inclusion of women in governance in Nigeria, particularly in Benue state, is a matter of concern. Despite the proven benefits of women's participation in leadership roles, the statistics remain disappointingly low. This article highlights the need for increased efforts to address this issue and emphasizes the role of women in combating Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

The low inclusion of women in governance in Nigeria is a matter of great concern. Research has consistently shown that when women are actively involved in leadership and decision-making positions, there are better developmental gains for states and nations. Unfortunately, the statistics of women's inclusion in Benue state, as well as Nigeria as a whole, are abysmally poor.

Mrs. Irene Awunah-Ikyegh, the Chairperson of the Nigeria League of Women Voters (NILOWV) in Benue, highlighted this issue during a two-day stakeholders consultation on women inclusion and effective Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). She lamented the fact that out of the 45 members of the Federal Cabinet, only eight are women, representing a meager 17.8%. This falls far short of the minimum expected representation of 35% as enshrined in the Nigerian National Gender Policy.

In Benue state's 10th House of Assembly, only two out of 30 members are women, constituting a mere 6.67%. The situation is similarly disheartening when examining the composition of the state cabinet, where only nine out of the 54 members are women, representing a meager 16.76%. These figures clearly indicate the urgent need for action.

Mrs. Awunah-Ikyegh stressed that the absence of any Person Living With Disability (PLWD) in both state and federal appointments is also deeply concerning. It is imperative to ensure equal opportunities and representation for all marginalized groups.

Studies have consistently shown that women play a crucial role in early warning and response to violent conflicts. By including more women in leadership positions, communities can benefit from their unique perspectives and experiences, leading to more effective responses to incidents of SGBV.

Praising the efforts of organizations such as Palladium, USAID, and NILOWV, Mrs. Awunah-Ikyegh acknowledged the SCALE Project's advocacy drive for better response to SGBV. These initiatives play a vital role in raising awareness, providing support, and empowering women to participate fully in governance and decision-making processes.

In conclusion, the low inclusion of women in governance in Nigeria, particularly in Benue state, calls for urgent attention. Improving the representation of women in leadership positions is not only a matter of gender equality but also contributes to more inclusive and effective governance. It is crucial for policymakers, civil society, and the general public to collaborate and take concerted actions to address this inequality and promote women empowerment.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-07 News

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