SDGs, DO Foundation decries low participation of women in politics

An electoral official accredits a woman to vote at a polling station during the Anambra State governorship election at Uga, Aguata district in southeast Nigeria, on November 6, 2021. - Nigeria's restive southeastern state of Anambra voted for a new governor on October 6, 2021, in a ballot seen as a test of the electoral system less than 18 months before presidential polls. More than 30,000 police have been dispatched to secure Anambra after a string of attacks in the southeast blamed on separatists from the Indigenous People of Biafra or IPOB who agitate for an independent state for the local Igbo people. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa

DO Foundation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the weekend attributed the low participation of women in politics to cases of violence and discrimination in politics.

According to the group, despite the fact that women make up half of the population of Nigeria, women representation in governance is abysmally low owing to several factors.

The founder of Do Foundation International, Dise Ogbise, while speaking during the flag off ceremony for the campaign to end violence against women during politics in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital and with the campaign name: End Violence Aginst Women In Politics ( EVAWIP) “said the Campaign is focused on mentorship of young girls and to get them fully participate in politics and governance.

Ogbise noted that Do Foundation is collaborating with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the issue of governance based on goal ten of SDGs, adding that the campaign will be carried out to every state and community to galvanize women in order for them to take their rightful place in governance.

She emphasized that though efforts by several civil society groups have not yielded the desired results, this calls for proactive steps in order to raise awareness to bridge the imbalance in representation.

Ogbise noted that the flag off is to provide financial support to young female politicians, organise mentorship programmes for young girls and provide legal services to women whenever their rights are infringed upon.

“The campaign shall move from state to state, community to community, street to street and door to door. We must encourage our women to come out and vote and be voted for.

“A level playing field devoid of security threat should be in place to encourage women to come out and exercise their franchise. The duo intends to go all over the country to talk to everyone to support women and that women also must support themselves. We must end violence against women, we say no to gender based violence and discrimination against women,” she added.

In his keynote address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Bayelsa Governor and State Focal Person on Sustainable Development Goals, Dr. Ebiwari Wariowei said the UN Charter which Nigeria is a subscriber legislate laws that promote human rights and equality of its citizens in respective of gender, religion, colour and background and called for domestication of such legislations.

Wariowei urged government at all levels to make concerted efforts to ensure that there are equal opportunities for all and tssked policy makers on the need to enact legislations to protect the rights of women.

Earlier in her welcome remarks, Chairperson of Do Foundation, Bayelsa State, Nurse Ubodiom regretted that the thirty-five percent affirmative for women only exist in theory in some states in Nigeria as the Bayelsa State Government already is gender friendly.