Who Are the Forces Against Women’s Involvement in Politics?

November 10, 2022

It is 2022 and Nigerian women are still struggling to get a stable place in politics. And no, politicians (mostly male) using female traders and rural women to advance their careers is not the same as women having a real say in the matter. 

There have been conferences, jabs, talks, and more talks thrown in the way of Nigerian women calling on them to rub shoulders with the men in the political space. But everyone seems to forget that it takes more than talking and that real work has to be done. 

On November 9, 2022, The deputy chief whip of the House of Representatives (aka Honourable Member of the Feminist Battalion), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, reminded us about the rejected affirmative action bill. 

The bill simply asked that the Nigerian government makes it compulsory for 35 percent of women to be involved in all governance processes. Easy stuff but it got thrown away. 

It is a breath of fresh air that people like Onyejeocha, who said that women’s participation should always be a priority, are in government. However, this was not enough to save the bill.

Let’s look at what the bill means for Nigerian women. 

How does the bill help Nigerian women? 

The bill, which was championed by Onyejeocha, was meant to increase women’s participation in politics and general government processes, offering them higher chances of getting into government.

Women should care about the implementation of affirmative action for two simple reasons:

The political numbers for women are sad to look at

Out of all the candidates campaigning in the 2023 elections, only 8.36 percent of them are women. After the 2019 legislative elections, it was also observed that only 8 women out of 109 members were elected to the House of Senate, and 13 women out of 360 members made it to the House of Representatives.  

In the two houses, fall way below the global 26.1 percent cut-off mark for global recognition of women in parliament. These numbers don’t lie. 

NASS has a history of rejecting bills for women

The 35 percent affirmative action bill isn’t the only one that has been rejected.

When senator, Biodun Olujimi, presented the Gender and Equal Opportunities bill in December 2021,  male lawmakers began to pick holes in the bill. It was eventually stepped down.

That was the third time Ms. Olujimi brought the bill to the Senate for consideration.

She first introduced the bill in March 2016. The bill clearly sought to give women the following:

  • Equal opportunities in employment.
  • Equal rights to inheritance for both genders.
  • Equal rights for women in marriage and divorce
  • Equal access to education, property/land ownership, and inheritance.

The bill was rejected by male lawmakers. They argued that the Nigerian Constitution was clear on the rights of citizens, including women.  Olujimi reworked the bill and represented it to the Senate. This time, it scaled second reading and was referred to the Senate committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters. However, no public hearing was held.

In November 2019, the bill was reintroduced and during the second reading last December, two senators – Aliyu Wamakko and Yusuf Yusuf – argued that the word “equality” was against the socio-cultural practice of Islam.

Women around the world are killing it politically

Kenya and Rwanda are good examples of African countries where gender equality is practiced, especially in politics and governance.

In Kenya, the number of women in parliament sums up to 21.8 percent. Seven female governors were also sworn into power in August 2022.

Rwanda Chamber of Deputies became the first elected national parliament where women were the majority in 2008. The percentage of women in parliament stood at 61.25% in 2021. This is way above the current global average of 26.4%. 

Rwanda has been at the top of the International Organization of Parliaments (IPU)’s monthly ranking of

women in the national parliament for years.

Dear Nigeria, remove shame and beat Rwanda. If there was ever a time to care about female participation in politics, there is no better time than now. 

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Experiencing puberty
April 13, 2021

Puberty is described as a gradual switch from childhood to adulthood and also one of the most confusing stages of being human. Although it is characterized by changes like periods, growing breasts and rounding hips, many women experience puberty differently. Here’s what six Nigerian women have to say about experiencing puberty. Fifi, 22 I was […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

December 29, 2021

A new year is right around the corner. Before we go into 2022, enjoy some of our top quizzes from this year. 1. QUIZ: Only Nigerian Gen Z’ers Can Make It To The End Of This Musicians Quiz Forget about your age. If you can make it to the end of this quiz, you’re definitely […]

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

More from Citizen

February 3, 2023

This week’s Abroad Life subject is Nigerian diaspora Twitter influencer, Oluomo of Derby, who is the founder of NIUKCommunity, a diasporan community with over 9,500 members. He tells us about his ‘japa’ journey, his inspiration to build a Nigerian “home away from home” and how he’s enlightening his community on the 2023 elections.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X