Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State women have lamented the alleged marginalisation of the womenfolk in the politics and governance of the country.
They said that although women constitute quite a large proportion of the voting population, they are usually not given fair opportunity to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria at all levels.
They said that the situation is not different in Ebonyi as, according to them, there were few women who hold positions in government and in the different political parties in the state.
Their views were contained a resolution reached at one-day seminar tagged: “The Challenges Women Face in Joining and Participating in Elections” organised by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at Cirenes Hotel, Abakaliki.
The women who were drawn from different political parties including those holding government appointments resolved, however, to take their destiny in their hands.
The Coordinator of IRI in the state, Mr. Anthony Anichukwueze, while addressing the participants at the event, stated that the purpose of the seminar was to enable critical stakeholders, especially women, discuss the challenges facing them, particularly as they affect political participation and leadership, in order to chart the way forward.
“This programme was designed to give stakeholders in the political arena, especially women, the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing them and the strategies they can adopt to enable them to increase their impact politically and otherwise,” Anichukwueze said.
The resolution stated that: “Women will no longer accept just the position of women leader in their various political parties. We want equal position with the men folks. If our men succeeded and are still succeeding in politics with godfatherism formula, we are more than ready to build our own godmotherism.
“The presupposed assumption of the popular slogan “women don’t like themselves” is a lie, we love ourselves but the quota usually assigned to us is too small compared to our counterparts, the male folks.
“We have resolved to do grassroots mobilisation for women, push and support our women and negotiate for more seats and opportunities for our women especially in National Assembly.”
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in the state, Mrs Jennifer Adibe-Nwafor, said that she was making efforts to pave way for the women and ensure that they participate adequately in politics in the state.
She said that she was collaborating with organisations and carrying out sensitisation campaigns with the aim of enlightening the women on issues bordering on politics and governance and the need for them be part of the processes and activities.