WFD Advocates Women Participation in Politics

Dike Onwuamaeze

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has called for the removal of the barriers hindering the inclusion and effective participation of women in politics and governance in Nigeria at elective and appointive positions.

The WFD made the call at the end of its two-day retreat for national women leaders of 19 registered political parties as part of the foundation’s Nigeria Open Political Party (NOPP) project with the theme “Strengthening the Capacity of National Women Leaders of Political Parties to Advocate for Inclusion, Participation and Representation of Women,” which was held in Lagos between July 3 and July 4.

A press statement from the WFD said that it “hosted the national women leaders of all registered political parties in Nigeria to a two-day retreat to transform the existing platform of national women leaders to be more organised, functional and sustainable, and serve the purpose of increasing the inclusion, participation, and representation of women in the political process. 

“The retreat will enable individual women leaders to advocate for reforms within their parties towards promoting internal party democracy, transparency, fairness, and inclusivity in candidate selection and decision-making processes.”

The NOPP project, which is funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), “will support political parties in Nigeria to improve representation of underrepresented groups, by identifying and adopting inclusive practices to enable access to underrepresented groups.”  

The Country Director of WFD, Mr. Adebowale Olorunmola, said that women inclusion in politics is paramount because a democracy that “does not include a segment that represents 50 per cent of its population is not a true democracy.  

“We need to promote practices that create level playing field for every citizen of Nigeria that is interested in participating in the process.”  

The National Women Leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Amina Darasimi Bryhm, said that the retreat would help to strengthen the democratic institution in Nigeria.

Brylim, who is also the president of the Forum for National Women Leaders of All Registered Political Parties (NWLARPP), said: “We will go back from this retreat more strengthened in getting the women involved in political activities so that in the next elections in 2027 we will have more women in the National Assembly and appointive positions.

“We are asking for 35 per cent inclusion in politics and we want to get to that percentage. Every party has a policy on women that we want to see implemented,” Brylim said.

Also, the National Women Leader of All Progressives Grand Alliance, Mrs. Elizabeth Nwokeocha, who is also the publicity secretary of the NWLARPP, said that bringing the women out from their shelves is very important in order to add flavor to the governance of the country.   

A Policy Development Expert, Dr. Murtala Mohammed, said that the retreat was to strengthen the capacity of women and come out with operational guideline that would give them a sense of direction on how to strategically plan and implement their programmes in the next three years.

Also, a Development Strategist and Social Inclusion Expert, Hon. ‘Bunmi‘Dipo-Salami, said that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in Nigerian politics is alarming and embarrassing.

Related Articles