About the Young Women in Politics Forum
The Young Women in Politics Forum was launched on September 11, 2017 under the auspices of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund. Young women in political parties from more than 17 political parties and 36 states including the FCT attended the launch including other young women and mentees in the Fund’s Young Women Leaders Project and Young Women Mentorship Program. Also in attendance were young women who had built social capital across different fields of endeavours and Civil Society Organizations. The launch was made possible with support from DFID-Voices4Change and National Endowment for Democracy.
This initiative is not entirely new as many existing political parties have formal youth movements which in themselves also isolate women and reserve the youth wing leadership and sometimes membership as the exclusive preserve of young men. Rather, it is a consolidation of months of negotiations and conversations amongst young women from all works of life including politicians, active citizens, social entrepreneurs, business women, and many others. The immediate and short-term aim is to close the intergenerational gap amongst women in politics in Nigeria providing a platform for cross learning, exchange of ideas and mobilization of supporters across political parties. The long-term aim on the other hand is to continuously have a pool of women leaders in Nigeria who can fill elective and non- elective positions in the country.
The objectives of the Forum are amongst others to:
- Organize young women into a movement that speaks with one voice across political parties
- Mobilize around specific issues that affect or impede young women’s emergence as candidates and aspirants in party elections and leadership
- Mobilise resources and networks for young women in political parties to run for office and engage their constituencies
- Build the capacity of members to engage in the political space with policy makers, demand inclusive internal party politics and challenge party machinery when they are marginalised
- Serve as a support group for young women with similar interests
- Groom a critical mass of young women as active citizens that foster unity and networking, serving as a platform that pushes for change in Nigeria’s democratic governance.