Women in Nigerian Politics: The Struggle for Participatory Relevance

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Frances Jumoke Oloidia


Nigeria has been recording low participation of women in both elective and appointive positions. This is a growing concern to many Nigerians. However, concerted efforts have been made by government and non-governmental organizations to increase the level of participation of women in politics in line with the declaration made at the fourth World Conference on women in Beijing, which advocated 30% affirmative action. The under representation of women in political participation gained root due to the patriarchal practice inherent in our society, much of which were obvious from pre-colonial era till date. Based on secondary sources of information, this paper, examined the challenges Nigerian women still face in active participation in politics such as discriminatory socio-cultural and religious practices; lack of finance; under-representation of women in governance; unhealthy political environment; political party discrimination; wrong perception of women in politics; among others. This paper recommended measures to guarantee women active participation in politics in Nigeria such as socio-economic factors inhibiting women’s political potency should be properly addressed. Specifically, conscious efforts should be made by Nigerian governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), development agencies (local and international), and women organizations to liberate women from the grips of culture, religion, male-dominated party system, poverty and illiteracy, among others.

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