Ahead of 2019 general elections, leaders of Civil Society Organisations and female politicians and professionals have called on Southwest political leaders to support the women folk in next general elections. They have also called for an improvement in the number of women in the National Assembly from the geo-political zone.

Speaking at a strategy meeting of the women’s platform for gender equality in Lagos State organised by the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), the CSO leaders and female politicians implored political parties to give more slots to women in future elections.

In her address, the Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), South-West, Chief Kemi Nelson, said, “In politics, men still believe that women will challenge their authority and so they are scared of competition, that is why they work against women’s interest during the elections.
“The South-West region is under represented in the National Assembly in term of women’s representation compared to the number of female lawmakers in other geo-political zones. Women must be ready to work harder enough to earn party votes and elective positions in future elections to increase women participation in South-West politics,” she added.

According to foremost gender activist, Dr. Keziah Awosika, “in the south-west, politics is seen as a battle field where women do not have a stalk unlike other regions in the country. We should ensure that our voices are always heard and not relegated to the background.”

The founding Director, WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, urged civil society groups and female politicians to work in harmony to increase women participation in politics. She further advised Nigerian women to always stand firm behind one another and mobilise themselves against issues affecting women in different sectors in Nigeria.

Chairperson of at the Strategic Meeting, Ms. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, stressed on the need for women to seek political offices by making themselves relevant at the grassroots level to achieve their dream.

“Women should begin to see themselves as partners, involve ourselves in developing and impacting on society while partnering to improve our political drive.”