Lack of gender parity responsible for underdevelopment in Nigeria- Bar Ifendu Ebere
Barrister Ebere Ifendu who is the President of the Women in Politics Forum spoke on Women Political Platform, our Weekly radio show aimed at engaging Nigerians on National discourse – topical issues and serve as advocacy mechanism for inclusion of women in politics and implementation of 35 percent affirmative action (quota system as it is being practiced in other climes.
Bar Ebere said Nigeria does not take women issues and representation serious. According to her, ‘’Nigerian women are not equitably represented in the political space; this is because most political parties pay lip service to women issues and women representation. We seem not to understand that a country where women are not allowed to participate fully will never develop economically and otherwise. There is no way you will shut out more than 50% of the population and think the economy of the nation will move forward’’.
Responding to questions on the role of her organisation; the WIPF in fighting for Women’s right, Bar Ifendu said the Forum is a multi-party organisation with the interest to have more women participate in politics. She explained that they do this ‘’by working with women who are even not interested in politics but who policies also affect. Like the market women’’
She also spoke on the oncoming W4W and He4She rally that will hold in Abuja later in the month. Calling on all Women to come out and support the movement as there are no barriers to who can participate.
In addition, she said ‘’we hope to achieve voices of women being heard. We have issues with low girl child education especially with what is happening in the North East. Parents are no longer anxious to send their girls to school, violence against women, be it political, be it rape. Different issues affect women. The market women are not politicians but policies made by politicians affect them.
The show which is in its 26th edition is aired every Tuesday on Nigerian Info FM Abuja with the support of the Ford Foundation. While contributing to the show, two callers expressed their willingness to support any initiative geared towards increasing women’s participation in political leadership in Nigeria.
Callers on the show expressed optimism in the ability of women to bring the needed change in the country. They said women’s full participation in governance and other sectors will be better for the country. Sunshine from Wuse in Abuja said’ ‘’we need more women in the security set up because when women are in such position, they perform better’’