The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) in partnership with Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternatives (WRAPA), and with support from MacArthur Foundation held a two-day training in Kano State for women in political parties on 18-19 October 2018. This training was organized to aid participants’ understanding on accountability and anti-corruption from a gender perspective and how their strategic engagements can enhance existing systems attempt to reduce corrupt practices in Nigeria.
Speaking to participants at the event, CEO-NWTF, Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi, highlighted why women should keep themselves informed on anti-corruption and accountability issues and position themselves as strategic to the campaign against corruption and lack of accountability. She emphasized that the fight against corruption and lack of accountability will strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and reduce gender inequality which is also as a result of the unequal spending power between men and women. On party politics, she advised that women should attempt to aspire for other leadership positions within their political parties besides the position of a woman leader. According to her, this will make it possible for women to influence party policies to ensure that women are not grossly marginalized. Ms. Fijabi further stated that creating awareness amongst women about party policies, in relation to understanding and analyzing campaign promises is key to ensuring a sustainable support system for women’s political participation.
Knowing that the constant poor participation of women in politics and governance is a core factor to the lack of effective accountability policies in Nigeria, participants at the training committed to always standing for the integrity of women in terms of accountability. One of the participants, Fatima Yakubu spoke about the marginalization of women and how this has led to unequal opportunities for the female gender in the state. “…It is high time for women to fight for their own rights” she reaffirmed. Another participant, Hauwa El – Yakubu encouraged participants to hold their party executives accountable, and not succumb to intimidations.
The training is part of the overall goal of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP), aimed at institutionalizing anti-corruption and accountability demands through citizens’ engagement in Nigeria’s democratic process.