A former presidential candidate of Kowa Party, Professor Remi Sonaiya, has described the very low representation of women in Nigeria’s National Assembly as a shame.
Professor Sonaiya, the only female presidential candidate in the 2015 general election, noted that the major challenges to the participation of women in politics are culture and tradition.
She lamented that many people still believe women’s role is limited to the kitchen as a result of their tradition
She tweeted, “Nigerian women are lagging too far behind in politics. It is a shame that we have only 7% women at the National Assembly.
“Tradition and culture are hindrances to women's participation in politics. Some people still believe that women's roles are still limited to the kitchen and "the other room”, she added
She maintained that women would have to play key roles in their liberation if they are to get more representation in the political space. She encouraged other women to do more in enlightening their fellow women.
“Viable strategies to expand the space for women would have to come from the women themselves. Educate women so they come to see participation as a duty, a responsibility.”
Responding to critics saying women should participate in grassroots politics, Prof. Sonaiya stated that everybody can participate in politics at all levels. She claimed that the major question should be ‘what candidates are bringing on board’.
She also added that girls must be made to believe that their worth goes beyond their abilities in the kitchen and the other room.
Ahead of 2019 elections, she encouraged Nigerians to scrutinize and monitor track records of those who will be vying for the different political positions. She noted that someone who didn't show fairness & justice in the past isn't a just & fair person.
She further posited that participation of women in politics would lead to social benefit.
“However, it is proven that when there are more women involved in decision-making, society benefits because service provision is brought to the fore - water, roads, schools, health, etc.”