Women protest late night meetings by political parties

With less than two years to the 2023 general elections, the National Council for Women Society on Monday protested the practice of fixing meetings late at night by political parties, saying it was unhealthy for married female politicians.

The organisation said that most marriages had “broken up because women become very actively involved in politics.”

The President, NCWS, Dr Gloria Shoda, represented by the President, South-East Professional Women Association of Nigeria and Diaspora, Dr Nwanganga Ibeh, stated this in Abuja during a workshop on ‘Strengthening participation of women in Nigeria’s political process.’

The programme was organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in partnership with the European Union; Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre and Nigerian Women Trust Fund.

At the event, the acting Director-General of NIPSS, Brig. General Chukwuemeka Udaya, regretted that notwithstanding the existence of the Nigerian Gender Policy, participation of women in the political process at various levels in Nigeria was still very low.

He blamed political parties for stalling efforts being made to include more women in politics and governance.

Udaya said, “Indeed, political parties in Nigeria have provisions in their constitutions, guidelines and rules to ensure inclusion of women in the scheme of things, but in practice, these provisions are either disregarded or utterly breeched.

“The overarching aim of this engagement is to sensitise and mobilise political party leaders and other stakeholders to proffer effective strategies that would improve the participation of women in the political process especially before the 2023 elections.”

Shoda stressed the need for political meetings to be held in the daytime to enable married female politicians to effectively participate in politics.

She said, “In our culture, we know that women are not supposed to stay out late or come home very late. Most marriages pack up when women become very actively involved in politics. And we know that when they do not turn up for these night meetings where important decisions are taken, they are just left off. So, as we prepare for the 2023 elections, I want to advocate that for women in politics to be effectively active in policy-making and political party activities, political meetings should be held when it is reasonable for a married woman to attend.”

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