Women In Politics: A Necessity - Ummulkhairi Mukhtar Usman
Women in Nigeria sees politics as trivial and an issue that is never taken seriously, which is why we have a very low representation in all arms of government.
In the real sense, women involvement in politics is a necessity because women are at the receiving end of poor governance. It might interest you to know that women represents less than 6% in 8th National Assembly in Nigeria: Less than 10 under 40 years of age; only 7 women out of 109 in the Senate; only 20 women out of 360 in House of Representatives, women occupy only 59 seats out of 991 seats in State of Assembly nationwide.
One question people always ask is that, is Politics that important?
Well, the truth is those in government make decisions, laws and policies that affect every system and sector in the society from Education to Economy, Health, and Infrastructure. All these things affect you and your loved ones. These persons in government were elected through a political process, what you call election campaigns and eventually voting. Even those who are appointed into public offices are appointed by those who were elected. So politics determines who becomes a leader and who makes decisions for you. Yes, politics can change so many things. Your health, your education, your career, your future job, your investment, your security, your family, your community are really affected by the decisions made by the government in form of laws, policies and budgets meant for development.
Women should be interested and participate 'actively' in politics because 1 out of 10 women have experienced rape or sexual violence, and most victims never get justice. If strict laws are made by those in parliament, rape cases will reduce. 800 Nigerian women die from child birth daily, mostly because of poor health care, lack or inadequate maternities and hospitals, etc. 340, 000 infants die yearly, Nigeria ranks No. 10 in infant mortality rate out of 222 countries. All due to poor primary health.
N 8 trillion was stolen in the last 13 years by those in government; these monies would have helped to solve many of these problems. If 6% of National Assembly are women, women issues and health will not be a priority. So more women in parliament means more attention to women’s issues. If young women do not participate as voters and support female politicians, we will continue to have few women in the parliament. If young women do not prepare to take over from the older women today, we will be left with 0% at National Assembly.
“We all know that women do better in public offices because they are to some extent stricter than the men, and women are lesser embezzlers because a woman has no boyfriend she will want to buy a car for”.
Women should be involved in Politics because it is their civil right. Bad governance can be stopped, it is possible, standards of living can be improved, maternal and infant mortality can be reduced, number of rape and other injustice cases can be reduced. Better laws can be made if the right people are in government. Governance affects every area of your life directly or indirectly; politics determines the people in government. When you stay away from politics, you give other people the power to choose who makes decisions for you. Leaders are elected by the majority of votes; these votes are a sum of voters from individuals, you and others. When you do not vote, you leave a gap; you let the vote of the wrong people become majority.
If you go through all these, you will agree with me that there is a need for women, especially young women to participate 'actively' in politics, and the first step towards achieving that is by getting a PVC, and also registering with a political party.
About the Author
Ummulkhairi Mukhtar Usman is the Chief Executive Officer of Khayri's Pride, Kaduna State. She is also the Coordinator of APC Young Women's Forum. Furthermore, she is presently Kaduna State Women Leader as well as Buhari Change Council.
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