Alice Smith
Fri, Sep 8, 2023 8:05 AM

Low Inclusion of Women in Governance in Nigeria: A Cause for Concern

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Low Inclusion of Women in Governance in Nigeria: A Cause for Concern
The low inclusion of women in governance in Nigeria, particularly in Benue State, has drawn attention to the need for better representation and gender equality. Women are key actors in early warning and response to violent conflicts, and increasing their participation in leadership positions can help address societal issues such as gender-based violence.

The Nigeria League of Women Voters (NILOWV), Benue State chapter, has expressed serious concerns about the low inclusion of women in governance in Nigeria, with a particular emphasis on the situation in Benue State. Mrs. Irene Awunah-Ikyegh, the Chairperson of NILOWV in Benue State, highlighted the alarming statistics of women's representation in key decision-making roles.

In Benue State's 10th House of Assembly, only two out of thirty members are women, representing a mere 6.67 percent. Similarly, out of the 54 cabinet members in the state, including commissioners, special advisers, and senior special assistants, only nine are women, accounting for just 16.76 percent. These figures underscore the urgent need for significant improvements in female representation at all levels of governance.

Mrs. Awunah-Ikyegh commended organizations like Palladium, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other partners for their efforts in driving advocacy for better responses to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). She emphasized the crucial role women play as key actors in early warning and response to violent conflicts.

Increasing the number of women in leadership positions can lead to more effective mechanisms to combat SGBV and contribute to safer communities. With their unique perspectives and experiences, women can bring about positive change and address societal challenges such as gender inequality.

The Chairman of the Benue Non-Governmental Organisations Network (BENGONET), Lazarus Mom, and Mr. Onah Adeyi, representing the management staff of Civil Society Organizations in Benue, also expressed their appreciation for the efforts of Palladium, USAID, and NILOWV in tackling SGBV and promoting women's inclusion in governance.

Furthermore, Ms. Jemimah Yaji, a woman living with a disability, expressed her joy at being recognized and conveyed her hopes for a future where women are more included in governance. It is vital to ensure that women from diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities, have equal opportunities to contribute to decision-making processes.

The low inclusion of women in governance in Nigeria is a cause for concern. Achieving gender equality and empowering women to participate fully in leadership roles is not only a matter of social justice but also essential for sustainable development and inclusive decision-making.

By addressing the barriers that hinder women's inclusion in governance, Nigeria can harness the full potential of its female population and create a more equitable and prosperous society. Efforts should focus on providing equal access to education, training, mentorship, and removing cultural and societal prejudices that limit women's aspirations and opportunities.

Ultimately, ensuring women's representation and participation in governance will contribute to a more balanced and inclusive political landscape in Nigeria, where diverse perspectives and experiences shape policies that benefit all citizens, irrespective of gender.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-08 News

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