The Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (WF) was created in 2011 to increase the representation of women in Nigerian governance at all levels and address the growing concerns about the gender imbalance in elective and appointive positions. Nigeria currently falls short of the National Gender Policy benchmark of 35% minimum gender representation and other global and regional benchmarks to which the country is signatory. For instance, with the return to democratic governance in 1999, the number of women being elected in Nigeria steadily increased but since 2007 it has remained stagnant between 7-9% representation in the National Assembly, less than the average rate of female parliamentarians globally and in Sub-Saharan Africa which is 19% and 20% respectively.
The goal of the Fund is to institutionalize access to resources for women in politics in Nigeria. Its objectives are to:
Transparently provide aspiring women with financial and other forms of resources towards their political campaigns irrespective of political inclinations
Identify and build a database of aspiring women politicians and those in appointive positions to enhance their leadership capacity.
Fundraise, invest and manage resources for women’s political participation
Provide national and international networking opportunities for women politicians in elective and appointive positions to build strategic alliances and raise resources
Engage in research and advocacy to further expand women’s political space
Enlist champions of change (men and women) to support the aspirations of women politicians.
The Fund’s start up grant was provided by the Office of the Senior Special Advisor to the President on the MDG’s (OSSAP-MDG’s). In order to sustain programmatic outcomes and meet our target objectives however there is a need to enlarge our financial resource pool through: the development/implementation of a fund raising strategy; compilation of a list of potential supporters; launch of a tokens donation agenda; organizing fund raising dinners; soliciting support from development partners; exploring investment opportunities and adapting viable portfolios.
Our Program Areas
The Fund’s focus is informed by its objectives above and will direct its resources to four areas in order to address the most critical issues affecting women’s political participation in Nigeria. The four focus areas are: