Group urges greater women’s participation in politics

By Suru Charles

Calls for women in Taraba State and the country at large to actively participate in politics and the ongoing electoral process, were yesterday on the front burner of the town hall meeting that took place in Jalingo.

The meeting, which brought women from all walks of life together, was observed to have been designed towards increasing women’s participation in the electoral process.

Organized by Women in Media (WIM), the low participation of women in politics especially in the state that prides itself as the ‘Nature’s Gift to the Nation (Taraba), the organizers said has become a source of concern.

The chairperson of the organization, Queen Kunde Enoch, who could not fathom why women have continued to distance themselves from politics, said it is “high time for the voice of our women to be amplified.”

Believing that women have rights to engage in civil society, vote in elections, be elected to government office, serve in boards, and make their voices heard in any process that will ultimately affect them, their families, and their communities, the need for them to come out of their woods, she believed can no longer be overemphasized.

Drumming that women’s right to political participation is a necessary step to achieving global gender equality and democratic governance, she believed that such a dream can only be achieved when women come out of their slumbers and take their rightful positions in the society.

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Aligning their weights to that of the Queen, other speakers among them who include the chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), Chief Philip Duwe, the former chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Jonah J. Kataps, security chiefs, to mention but few, expressed dissatisfaction at the low participation of women in politics in the state.

While urging women to “partner with those who are doing things well, defend those who have no hands to fight” the girl child, as suggested by the SIEC chairman, “must be fully equipped for the future”.

Duwe, who expressed sadness that “our laws are draconian, they are anti-gender” beckoned at the leadership of the organization to strive hard to “stand for women who cannot fight, speak for women who cannot speak.”

Urging the women to endeavour to make a difference in the forthcoming general elections, the 2023 elections as opined by him”, should be a different election and it should be an inclusive election”, adding that, “everyone should be able to participate”.

Stressing that “women are very important and are agents of social mobilization”, the former NUT boss, who believed that the women population is more than that of men, wondered why the women are still finding it cumbersome to take the centre stage of Nigeria politics.

Kataps, who went ahead to task men to encourage women to always jostle for elective positions, frowned at the way and manner women in the state are often relegated to the background especially in the areas of appointments, even when they are “more qualified than the men.”

While the representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) promised a level playgrounds for all eligible voters, the security chiefs on their parts, vowed to provide adequate protection for voters during and before the elections.

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