Nigerian Men Still Jittery About Women in Politics, Says Chikwe

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, has said despite the several in-roads made by the women in governance in the country, there are still a lot of obstacles on their way in political participation.

She said many of the men folk still feel jittery whenever a woman signifies her intention to contest for elective office and would make every effort to truncate it.

Chikwe who is also a former ambassador and the immediate past National Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated this during an interview with ARISE Television, a THISDAY Newspaper sister broadcast network in Abuja.

She said it was regrettable that while women campaign the most during elections, they hardly get anything commensurate to their effort after victory is secured.

The top woman politician from Imo State said she has floated a women leadership development institute that would help address some of the shortcomings and to embolden women to be more assertive in their approach to politics and governance issues.

“In Nigeria, I think the competition is too keen, most men would rather mobilise the women to support their interest but most of these men do not support the interest of women. And even when some women have worked very hard and are almost there, like becoming governors, something happens and when you go behind the scene, it is this hypocrisy of support for women in our society that is at the root cause. This is really dangerous,” she said.

Mrs. Chikwe said there is no basis for such hypocritical attitude from the men because from available records, most women that have held office in the country have done creditably well.

“Most of these women have set the pace but the men still feel that it is a man’s world,” she said.

On the objective of her pet project, the  former minister said the women institute would go a long way to prepare women for leadership roles in the society and to strengthen her resolve to participate in politics and governance.

“When there is a curricular set up for women to go through formal training, classroom orientation, I think it would be taken more seriously even by them and when they get back home after earning their certificate and diplomas for the training, they will be more confident to confront the challenges in their local areas, especially political leadership,” she said.