ElectHER, a non-partisan organisation set up to foster the participation of women in politics has launched the Agender35 campaign to fund not less than 35 women running for various political offices in 2023.
The launch of Agender35 was held recently in Lagos, with the group unveiling a $10 million fund campaign.
Speaking at the Launch, the Co-founder of ElectHER, Ibijoke Faborode, said the Agender35 campaign was a deliberate effort to significantly de-risk the process of women running for elective office and increase women’s political representation in Nigeria by 2023.
“Through the campaign, the group will provide direct funding to 35 women, 15 for the House of Representatives, 15 for House of Assemblies, three for Senatorial offices and two for executive offices.”
She likewise revealed that ElectHER has secured $2 million out of the $10million Agender35 campaign which will be used to empower 1000 women and directly back 35 women to run for political office in 2023.
“The $2 million was donated by Platform Capital Group, a private sector ally and Agender35 anchor partner with ElectHer,” she disclosed.
Faborode said “Agender35 is a movement that requires the collective effort of all critical stakeholders- citizens, including the media, political parties, the private sector, and also the government.”
She added that the group will advocate for the legislation of a minimum 35 per cent women’s representation quota in appointive and elective offices in Nigeria.
“If we maintain the current level of ignorance on socio-political issues, there will be no country in the next two decades.
“The gross under-representation of Nigerian women in elective office poses a severe threat to nation building and socio-economic growth, given that women constitute about 50 per cent of the population.
“To put this into context, Nigeria currently has the lowest representation of women across parliament in Africa, at a dismal 4.1 per cent. In 2019, only five out of 73 candidates ran for the presidency and none of them were among the top three most voted candidates in the presidential race,” she said.
The speaker further said the inequality gap in Nigerian politics has led to poor policy outcomes and the low prioritization of social development over the years, crippling socio-economic progression in the country.
Also speaking at the launch, the Executive Director of Platform Capital Group, Akintoye Akindele, noted that women should be empowered to run for political offices as there are about 50 per cent women in the population, and the number will keep increasing.
“The future is feminine and the future is black. It only makes sense to empower women to go into politics. Black people will be material in every conversation, as our population increases, so also will women,” he said.
Akindele said women should be given equal opportunity and fair ride in politics as this is material to having progressive policies and laws in Nigeria.
“We did a research of how much it costs to win elections in Nigeria, when women show interest in politics, the goal is to match, skill, scale and support women,” he said.
ElectHER calls on organisations and individuals to support Agender35 and its goal of empowering 1000 women, directly funding 35 women to run for political offices and win in the 2023 elections and also engage citizens on the dire need for women’s representation ahead of 2023.