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Osun: Stakeholders Seek Deliberate Action To Increase Women’s Participation In Governance, Politics



By Grace Isaac, Osogbo

Some key stakeholders have called for a deliberate action towards increasing women’s participation in politics and governance in the country.

The stakeholders on Thursday called on political parties to field more women as their candidates in the election by giving them full support that can help them win and occupy political office in their state, ward and at local government level.

The call was made at the Oke – Ayepe Catholic diocese in Osogbo, at the Quarterly dialogue meeting with stakeholders tags “High Level Dialogue with Political Party”, organized by a faith based non- governmental Organization, Justice Development and Peace Makers Center ( JDPMC).

Speaking at the event , Prof Comfort Remi Sonaiya who was the first female presidential candidates under the platform of Kowa party during the 2015 presidential election said non inclusive of women in government is an injustice noting that everyone deserves a place.

She listed violence, region , culture among others as barriers for women to fully participate in election, saying women fear election with violence and that some religions forbids a woman leading men.

The politician cum educationalist stressed that women suffered seriously the consequences of poor governance as a result of poor health care, bad roads among others.

The Former lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University who was connected virtually on intercom while speaking on a topic “Role of political parties in promoting women’s participation in politics”, also called for the inclusion of more women in the decision-making process to bridge the gender gap in Governance in Nigeria.

She urged political parties present to consider electing female in their government calling on the ruling party in Osun State to have a rethink on why women was not included in their administration, urging them to do something on it.

She also called on women to make themselves available for political participation and governance, so that they can contribute their quotas to democratic development of the country

“What is keeping women out of politics?Why is Osun not having women in state assembly? Kindly think deep and do something. Everyone deserves a place at the table .

“Non inclusive of women is injustice, everyone deserves a place , women constitute half of the populations , women suffer seriously the consequences of poor governance in terms of health, especially the pregnant women.

“Non inclusion brings injustice to women.

“Why is political parties silence on these issues all they cared about is winning election.

“When women are at the decision making tables issues affecting the family and the society at large are normally brought to the fore and adequately addressed.

“Women in leadership brings skills and competence that promote stability

“Engage in deliberate head-hunting for candidates beyond deputy gov
Introduce a quota system to ensure representation at all levels, Local Government, States and national .

In her remarks, Barrister Omolola said Prof Sonaiya has touched major key points, expressing happiness that political parties are presence to hear the issue being discussed.

“I’m glad that they will take this massage home and then reach out to the people out there.

“Looking at the political aspect we find out that honestly women misrepresented when you go out there you see women queuing and struggling to make sure that their candidate win but why is it not the other way round.

“Why it is that when women clinched a political position men will be trying to pull it down. There is need for sensitization. We need to carry women along”, she said.

In his own remarks, PDP Chairman in Osun, Honorable Sunday Bisi, said “the kind of politics we are playing in Nigerian does not favour men let alone women.

Represented by Mr Mustapha Sikiru, Bisi said “women have right but they have limitations if we put women forward their fellow women will not vote for them.

” There must be a realistic electoral reforms for women to participate in election.

“Not only in the national assembly they (women) are not represented, they are not there even in state house of assembly . House of Assembly is made up of 26 and there is no women there.

“The lecturer was ones a presidential candidate in 2015. How does she got there? She got there by her ability and believe that she can it. The Nigerian constitution is very weak, it does not really make it easy for women to participate in politics.

“We can categorize it in many ways to religion factor all what we are saying in the south is not applicable in the North you cannot see any northern put women forward even in political arena when you have women leader look at that positions that is supposed to be for women in the northern state they did not agree that women should lead, look at that nomenclature, men are holding women post. Is only we the south that believes we can do and undo.

In his own views, Chairman, Social Democratic Party, Alhaji Qudrus Gbadamosi said Nigerian politics has been monetized adding that women cannot risk spending money on election.

“If you don’t have money you may not be able to chinch any position. Nobody is depriving anyone if you have money you will clinch any position of your choice in respective of gender , religion or culture.

Also speaking, Adetunji Olubunmi party chairman of Action Alliance, said women are the cause of their problem adding that most women neglected their party because they think they may not win because is not the ruling party.

“In my own party we give out form for free for women to participate but you see some neglected their party

Olalekan Amos, the party chairman of YPP said ” The problem is thuggery , violence and culture despite what we did by giving out free form to women, women didn’t vote for themselves.

“To address the whole issues, we need to go back to our culture and religion . we need to go to school to educate our young girls that they can do it.

Dr Gbengan Odebunmi , Chairman of NRM party in his remark said “As the situation is going we can’t give women 30 percent women are already occupied in Other Profession let leave government for men . women have this kind of attitudes they can’t take risks with their money. They can’t attend political night meeting among others that men do in politics.

In his remark , Pastor Victor Akande from Accord Party ” it is like a bird flying without wing if women are not politics .

Party should amend their constitution to allow more women in politics there should be slot for them at the local government, ward , state and national level. Party should give 30 percent to them if this program can also be at the national level it would been better .

Earlier, Rev Peter Akikunmi the Coordinator of the JDPMC thanks all political parties for taking time to attend and deliberate on the causes and the way forward.

“It an invitation to dialogue between political parties.

We know how busy chairman of each political party, having one matter or the other to attend to either at the national or state level but, you took time to be here. Your presence here today indicate your kind of general disposition towards the political development of our state.

“We thank you on the effort you have made. you made it possible for us to have a very peaceful election in Osun in spite of the many issues we had in other places.

“There was so many tensions all over the land and it was evident your level of orderliness, efficiency in terms of direction and coordination in Osun State is incomparable.

“We must give the credit to you party chairmen who were able to conduct your various political parties with the level of severity that this required and we can say the attitudes of political parties actually responsible for the peaceful election we had in Osun State that idea of do or die that always caused violence in other part

The purpose of which we have called you is to have dialogue on a level of inclusion of women in our political election process.

“We plan a structure of which we make sure we invite the chairmen of each political parties.

“We want credible election that will not cause damage to human lives, properties

“We called ourselves ipinle Omoluabi and people look up to us as one so we have identified key element in all the election, one has to do with gender inclusion and we discovered is something that requires very serious dialogue so we have already approached other stakeholders we have had dialogue with women outside and also with those that contested during the election.

“This is a continuation of what we started before the election . We cannot neglect the issues of gender inclusion the world has moved on and we will continue to progress, let us be careful not to make sure that we are not the one killing the dreams of our women in Osun.

“There are lot of opportunity at the national, regional level and state for woman”