NFF: Women Lack Resources, Conducive Environment to Compete With Men
The Nigerian Feminist Forum, (NFF) has blamed low participation of women in political contest on lack of resources and hash political environment that exist in the country, adding that Nigerian women have experienced the worst socioeconomic and political outcome in the last ten years.
A member of the steering committee of the Nigeria Feminist Forum (NFF), Geraldine Ezeahile stated this at a press conference to mark its Malaika 3rd Blennial, themed ” Rebuilding the Nigerian Feminist Forum through Shared Vision and Solidarity.”
Ezeahile said the Nigerian women doesn’t have the financial war chest like their male counterparts to prosecute electioneering and they cannot be attending meetings at late in the night or very early hours of the morning.
She also said women cannot withstand or partake in the thuggery and violence that is associated with electioneering in the country.
“There are so many challenges for women to be able to get into these spaces (political spaces), and actually contest fairly, starting from the community or ward level politics, where political meetings holds at night, knowing how dangerous it is for women to join at that point and take decisions. Unfortunately this is where key decisions are made.
She used the opportunity to demand that political parties give certain percentage of their executive positions to women.
“We don’t want women leader title or designation anymore. We want women to be part of your executive (political parties)
maybe 30% or 40%.”
Earlier in her speech she said the NFF is very worried over the rising case of inequality and violence against women.
“The NFF is alarmed at the rising inequalities and cases of violence against women in the country. We are appalled that the government has taken little or no action to bridge gender inequalities and escalating economic, political crisis and violence against women and girls in all sphere of society.
Therefore we demand that government; implement progressive national, regional and international legal instruments that provides comprehensive set of human
rights for women and their intersections, commit to strong leadership to end end violence against women and girls, National Assembly to ensure that laws and policies in the country reflects the constantly changing social, economic, and political conditions of women and girls
Another member of the NFF steering committee, and a former presidential aspirant under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dorathy Nuhu, said if women should register a women political party; it will die a natural death. “If women form their own political party, it will die a natural death because you cannot run run government or politics in silo.”
She also stated what the group represents,
“Women who are working hard to ensure justice for women and all, we also build capacity of youths on how to strengthen the organisation. As women we have chosen to work for women and ensure change happens.”
Another member of the NFF steering committee, Emilia Okon who also spoke on the plight of women in politics said only inclusive governance can revive Nigeria.
“Women does not have what it takes to compete with the men. We know how presently money goes a long way to determine outcomes of political processes. And we know the economic power of women to push for such political agenda. My colleague Dorathy took part in
the 2023 presidential primaries of the SDP (Social Democratic Party), but had to step down for a man with the resources.”