Young Women Leaders in Kogi came together and launched the Dare to Lead Initiative on Saturday July 8, 2017This is one an outcome of a year-long engagement with the Young Women Leaders project from June 2016 – June 2017.

Dare to Lead is an attempt to demonstrate the skills learnt during the project aimed at creating awareness and inspiring other young women to engage with the democratic process in Nigeria with an eye on 2019.

The initiative was launched at the Lokoja market with a rally themed ‘Dare to Lead‘. During the rally, the Young Women Leaders educated the public on the dangers of being indifferent to politics and specifically admonished the young women pre-sent to step up as active citizens. A drama presentation capturing the consequences of poor governance occasioned by citizens‘ nonchalant attitude towards the electoral process was presented to amplify the key message of the rally; IEC materials including flyers emphasizing key messages were also distributed to the audience.

Some of the issues discussed include: importance of the Continuous Voters‘ Registration (CVR), accountability, transparency and good governance, issue based debates and elections, voting without bias during elections and engaging representatives after elections. The women lamented the deplorable state of infrastructure (water, power, health etc), the insincerity of the political class, marginalization of women, among others; which all pointed at the need to vote more strategically.

The Market Woman Leader (iya oloja) commended the efforts and courage of the young women in speaking out against injustice and calling out young women for strategic participation in governance. The women promised to be more critical of whom they vote in subsequent elections and pledged to sup-port competent female candidates