ElectHER launches Agender35 campaign to back 35 women for political office in 2023
… secures $2m out of $10m non-partisan fund
ElectHER- a non-partisan organization focused on getting women into elective office, has unveiled its Agender35 campaign, a deliberate effort to de-risk the process of women running for elective office and increase women’s political representation in Nigeria by 2023.
Through its three-point agenda, ElectHER plans to leverage its $10 million Fund to empower 1000 Nigerian women, and directly fund 35 women to decide, run and win in the 2023 elections.
While unveiling the campaign in Lagos on Monday ElectHER said its agenda also includes advocating for the legislation of a minimum 35 percent women’s representation quota in appointive and elective office and sensitizing voters while also engaging citizens on the dire need for women’s representation ahead of 2023.
Even though women constitute about 50 percent of the Nigerian population, only 4.1 percent occupied a political position in 2019. This record puts Nigeria as one of the countries with the lowest representation of women across parliament in Africa.
The adverse effect of this inequality gap, according to ElectHER, has led to poor policy outcomes and the low prioritization of social development over the years and is crippling socio-economic progression in the country.
“Agender35 is a movement that requires the collective effort of all critical stakeholders- citizens, the media, political parties, the private sector, the third sector but also the government,” Ibijoke Faborode; Co-founder & Executive Director of ElectHER said.
According to her, if Nigeria maintains the current level of ignorance on socio-political issues, there will be no country in the next two decades.
“This is why the bold support from Platform Capital Group– a critical private sector ally and Agender35 anchor partner who have committed $2million through its impact division- Diatom Impact, presents an enabling environment to effectively challenge the status quo and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships,” Faborode said.
One why Platform Capital Group decided to contribute $2million to support the Agender35 campaign, Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of the group company said the company’s obsession with changing the African narrative is holistic and not limited to business alone.
“We believe that promoting women in leadership and supporting their participation in politics and policymaking across all levels of society is critical to ensure the Africa of tomorrow emerges,” Akindele said.
ElectHER believes the gross under-representation of Nigerian women in elective office poses a severe threat to nation-building and socio-economic growth.
“There is overwhelming evidence that shows the benefits that accrue to a society when women are in political leadership and the highest levels of power and decision making,” Abosede George-Ogan, Co-founder of ElectHER said, adding that “If what we want as a people is a better Nigeria regardless of tribe, ethnicity, religion, geography, or generation, then we must unite around the Agender35 campaign and give women the opportunity they deserve so they can show us what they are capable of.”
She concluded by encouraging whoever might be tired, feels like giving up or those who think they have no business with politics to join ElectHER on its journey.
“Finally, I am calling on organizations who understand like Platform Capital Group that Nation building is a collective effort to partner with us,” George-Ogan said.
ElectHER said it plans to use the $10 million non-partisan fund to provide matching funds to directly support two women to run for executive office, three women to contest senatorial seats, 15 women to run for State House of Assembly Seats, and 15 women to run for Federal House of Representatives seats.
“Each woman will receive a support pathway through ElectHER’s comprehensive four-step approach which is Engage, Encourage, Equip and Enable.”
Over the next month, ElectHER said it plans to launch a series of targeted, institutional, and crowdfunding activities including the WomenforWomen Fund, Citizen Campaign Fund for Women, HNI fundraising rounds, ElectHER Hollywood Fund.
“Elections in Nigeria are capital intensive, as such if we are serious about achieving better outcomes in 2023, we must empower female candidates financially,” Faborode said.