On 5th November, 2019, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje sworn-in 20 commissioners after being screened and confirmed by the Kano State House of Assembly. The long awaited list of the appointees seems to create an impression that didn’t go against my suspicions.
The issue of women’s participation in politics and their subsequent appointments into key executive positions continue to be an issue of concern to many women in Nigeria. Come to think of it, in Nigerian House of Representatives where 360 members represent Nigerians in policymaking, only 19 are women. The story is not in any way different at the upper legislative chamber of the Senate as only seven out of the 109 senators are females, bringing a sum of 26 women out of the 469 lawmakers in the National Assembly.
The reason for low inclusion of women in Nigeria is still not clear, though some of the reasons may be sociological, cultural or religious.
Coming to Kano State, only two women made the list out of 20 commissioners appointed by Ganduje, Dr Mardiyya Mahmoud Bunkure, Ministry of Higher Education and Dr Zahra’u Muhammad Umar of Ministry of Women Affairs. Women are actually being underrated in politics in Nigeria despite the significant role they play during elections.
The list draws my attention further to questions of gender inequality. What is the rationale behind the selection? ls it a way of underrating women’s ability to deliver in political offices? Why has the agitation for women inclusiveness in politics been thrown overboard when majority of voters during election are mostly females?
It is high time women inclusiveness in politic was given due consideration because they are the real kingmakers in elections. Women can deliver responsibilities even better. Women should be fully integrated in policymaking and policy implementation and even in contesting for political offices.
Rabi Isyaka Rabiu, Dept of Information and Media Studies, Bayero University, Kano.