ElectHER, a non-partisan organisation, is taking its advocacy beyond women’s participation in politics to their involvement in public life, economic empowerment, peace and security.
Ibijoke Faborode, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organisation said a lot of their work in the past four years has been focused on women in the political arena.
“But going forward we’re going to have three key areas which include women’s public life participation, women’s economic empowerment, and peace and security. The goal is to get more women into decision-making roles and to improve the lives of women and children in Nigeria,” said Faborode at the Hersummit2023 by HerNetwork-themed ‘Moving Her Forward’.
She noted that beyond getting women to thrive in politics, ensuring that there is a reflective country that takes into consideration how women live and exist, and ensuring that when policies are made women are factored in, is the firm’s goal.
The need for women’s participation in all aspects of the country was discussed.
Stephanie Busari CNN’s Senior Editor for Africa said that during the pandemic, countries that successfully led the control of their countries were all led by women.
Debbie Larry-Izamoje, CEO of Brila Media, mentioned that a lot of the female sports in Nigeria teams lack female representation when comes to decisions made for them.
“When women don’t make decisions in female football, it goes around and affects us, we need women behind the scenes in Nigeria sports,” she said.
Ibijoke said that the difference between Nigeria and many international countries as regards laws concerning women in the rule of law of Nigeria.
“Nigeria has so many policies that are lovely on paper, we have some of the most fantastic policies on paper, but when it comes to the legal framework, we are lacking. When you don’t make something legal, people don’t think it’s the law, ”
She mentioned that last year, five gender-centric Bills were thrown out of the House of the National Assembly. “Had those bills been passed at the National Assembly to become laws, it means that when someone goes against them, we can track them to court. Now, those bills are not laws.”
To improve the rule of law in Nigeria, we need to ensure that policies are implemented and enforced equally and fairly, regardless of one’s social status or wealth. We also need to educate the public about the law and their rights, so that they can hold the government accountable.
The five gender-centric bills that were thrown out of the House of the National Assembly last year were proposals that seek to alter the Constitution including Bills 35, 36, 37, 38 & 68 to wit.
Bill to “provide for a special seat for women in the National and State Assembly”, a bill to “expand the scope of citizenship by registration, a bill to “provide for affirmative action for women in political party administration, bill to “provide criteria for qualification to become an indigene of a state in Nigeria, and Bill to “give women a quota in the federal and state executive councils or ministerial and commissionership seats.”