INEC News

INEC Chairman Decries Low Presence of Women in Elective Positions …Pledges to increase women participation in the electoral process



The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has decried the low representation of women in elective positions in the country, pledging to increase women participation in the electoral process through advocacy, partnerships and voter education.

 

The INEC Chairman made the observation yesterday when he received the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund NWTF), Funke Baruwa, the INEC Headquarters, Abuja.

 

Prof. Yakubu observed that only about four percent of the elective positions contested under his watch so far were won by women. He said “out of the 168 re-run elections and bye-elections that were conducted since the end of the 2015 general elections, only six women have been elected.

 

He said the unimpressive statistics underscores the challenge before the Commission and stakeholders in the electoral process such as the Nigerian Women Trust Fund to work together to ensure increased participation of women and other marginalized groups in elections and by implication, to hold more elective offices.

 

“For our democracy to grow from strength to strength, we cannot leave this large segment of our society out of participatory politics and more importantly representation”, he said.

 

The INEC Chairman pointed out that the Commission in its various engagements with Political Parties had emphasized the imperativeness of not only making women active members of political parties, but also candidates in elections. He explained that the Commission had embarked on various advocacy visits, workshops and capacity building as well as entered into partnerships with gender based Civil Society Organizations in a bid to ensure maximum participation of women in the electoral process.

 

He however used the opportunity to call on Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders to support the Commission by encouraging eligible citizens to get registered in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.

While making a remark at the meeting, the CEO of NWTF, Funke Baruwa disclosed that the visit was to forge a sustainable partnership with INEC in providing a level playing field for both men and women.

 

She assured that her organization would continue to sensitize, train, and embark on advocacy to ensure that women, who constitute a large population of the country, participated in the electoral process.