On the 6th and 7th of August 2018, the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF), with support from African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), conducted a two-day training for female aspirants and their campaign managers in Kano states on how to effectively apply communication skills and campaign management strategies as aspirants contesting for elective positions in the 2019 General Elections. The training which was geared towards strengthening their skills to develop and run effective political campaigns ahead of the 2019 General Elections while it also provided more information to the aspirants in their aspirations to become elected representatives.
Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, Mrs. Mufuliat Fijabi, during her welcome remarks, emphasized on the low representation of women in elected offices in Nigeria and especially the absence of women in the State Parliament in Kano State. She further charged trainees to disrupt the status quo and ensure women are in the state parliament as representatives. In quote, “…make sure that what you want to do is different from what the incumbent is doing; Be sure your statistics are right, and you have to make yourself different if you really want to serve” she concluded.
During a session on “Making the Decision to Contest for Political Office”, the Executive Director of Democratic Action Group (DAG), Dr. Mustapha Yahaya Mohammed, drew on the experiences and encouraged trainees to change the narrative. He highlighted roles women have played in shaping the State’s modern democracy and further urged them to organize themselves into a formidable women groups that will serve as agents for sustainable development. He further noted that cultural elements generally keep women out of the discussions in relation to the belief that women should be submissive. This belief has over the years translated into leadership trends in the State, he implied.
Commenting on behalf of the participants, Hon Rabi Yusuf, who is one of the trainees, commended this initiative as one of the most timely and informative. She emphasized that the training had exposed them to different strategies needed to actualize their political dreams as female aspirants. “We are already in action putting all the knowledge given to us as a guide. We are indeed very grateful”, she concluded.