Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
With the poor representation of women in the political landscape, The Social Change Network (TSCN) Africa and Women in Leadership Advancement Network (WILAN) have partnered to launch a joint initiative, ‘ElectHER’. The initiative which was launched in Abuja recently is an end-to-end women’s political advancement initiative aimed at improving the significantly low representation of women in Nigerian politics by engaging, encouraging, equipping and enabling women to decide, run and win elections.
Though President Muhammadu Buhari promised to make his cabinet gender inclusive during his campaign, the number of women actively involved in politics is still a trickle. It is against this backdrop that the two organisations decided to join forces and project women in the political limelight.
With a $10 million election campaign fund, ElectHER will support up to 1,000 women to run for office in the 2023 elections.
Founder of TSCN Africa and co-founder of ElectHER, Ibijoke Faborode, expressed disappointment over the statistics of women in Nigeria’s political landscape, especially young women and those living with disabilities.
“With women constituting half of Nigeria’s population, it is underwhelming to see that there are only eight female senators out of 109 and only 11 female members of the House of Representatives out of 360, which has earned us the poorest record of representation in Africa with only 4.1 per cent of our leaders and policymakers being female.”
Speaking to some of the challenges that account for these figures, founder of WILAN and co-founder of ElectHER, Abosede George-Ogan highlighted that “Women are faced with an uphill battle when venturing into the political space. From the lack of a formidable support network, inadequate financing, religious and cultural stereotypes, and violence, women are often frustrated out of fulfilling their political ambitions.”
At the event which was attended by representatives from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI), UN Women, European Union (EU), among others, the Nigerian Country Representative, UN Women, Comfort Lamptey delivered the keynote address with emphasis on the significance of women’s political leadership to unlocking socio-economic transformation in Nigeria.
ElectHER is poised to deliver transformational, capable and exemplary female leaders in the country.