In the context of poor inclusion of women in politics, leadership, and governance outcomes in Nigeria, The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) with support from the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Bureau through the Africa Regional Democracy Fund (ARDF) under A Woman’s Place Project which is aimed at strengthening the capacity of women for quality representation in decision-making processes paid an advocacy visit to paramount leaders in Anambra State on 17th August 2021. The advocacy visit aimed to change perceptions, attitudes, and social norms that are biased toward women’s political participation.

The Nigerian Women Trust Fund team paid advocacy visits to paramount rulers such as His Royal Highness G. Okaa Igwe Orachili Nagwu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Obi Gibson Nwosu EzeUzu, Awka Kingdom and His Royal Majesty Igwe Sir John Emeka Okebo II Igwe Umueri Kingdom in Anambra State. The NWTF advocacy team was led on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Mufuliat Fijabi by the Program Manager, Ms Lois Chinedu.

The advocacy visits focused on issues around the inclusion of women in leadership and governance structures in Nigeria, with the view of changing the narrative towards ensuring a more enabling environment and inclusion of women in decision-making processes across all spheres in Nigeria.

During the visit, the NWTF team emphasized the perception of women in governance as being casualized, to improve this narrative, the team urged gatekeepers to take actions towards their commitments in increasing their political will for women’s representation in governance with a demand for national responsibility and to encourage women to take up the call for service to the nation.

The visit gained the views and commitments of the paramount rulers in the State. It was effective as they affirmed the need for more women in elective and appointive positions. They pledged to support the process using various platforms to ensure inclusion and pursue inclusiveness of women in governance across the local, state, and national levels.

Furthermore, the NWTF team implemented a 2-day capacity building workshop for rural women in the state. The aim of the workshop is to create a culture of women’s leadership and advocacy of change for the massive mobilization of women towards the 2023 general elections.

The capacity-building workshop supported the women with meaningful engagement on leadership, communication and community mobilizing for increased women’s participation and political advocacy in the build-up to 2023 general elections.

Over a hundred (100) women were brought together from different communities in the State. The workshop availed the women to be more confident and capable of advocating for their priorities, and it has opened their eyes to the possibilities around them. Sharing and discussing issues and aspirations provided the idea to create more women’s groups in their respective communities.

The women trained were tasked to ensure that their voices, priorities and concerns at the local and national level is been heard by policymakers and to also mobilise women for massive action in order to achieve inclusive governance.