Faced with the prevailing slow trend towards balanced political representation in Nigeria’s democratic process, the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF) organized another capacity building training for Female Aspirants and their Campaign Mangers in Edo State with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) on 15 -16 August 2018.  The training themed “Breaking Political Barriers Through Communications”, was designed for female aspirants in the state to improve their communications  and campaign management skills . The training also provided the opportunity to share campaign experiences, examine political case studies, exchange best practices, and produce a set of recommendations for furthering women’s political engagements in the State.

During the opening remarks to the two day training NWTF’s consultant and resource person, Ms. Wumi Asubiaro-Dada, a Gender and Development Specialist, stated  that the objective of the training was to enhance the capacity of women in politics particularly aspirants on developing and disseminating strategic communication contents during campaigns and building on existing networks to support them to win in their aspirations for the 2019 General Elections and  future elections in Nigeria. She explained that the training will enable female aspirants to raise their visibility in the media and through relevant social networks.  She concluded by urging participants to apply learnt lessons and approaches in order to prompt the realization of a new paradigm in leadership in the state.

In her words of encouragement, Honorable Elizabeth Ative, narrated her experiences as the only and longest serving female legislator in the state.  She admonished female aspirants against opting out of their political aspirations due to pressures within the State’s political system. “Do not step down for any reason” she advised.  She further emphasized that politics is ultimately about serving the public and improving the lives of citizens. “You should be proud to be involved in politics” she concluded.

The outcome of the training amplified women’s voices from different political constituencies in the state to form a non-partisan alliance that will work to expand the space for women to become formidable stakeholders in the State’s electoral process.