EU Seeks to Bridge Gender Gap in Nigeria Ahead of 2019 Elections

The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Ketil Karlsen, said on Wednesday that the union was seeking ways to bridge gender gap in Nigeria, ahead of the country’s general elections next year.

A statement by the press officer to the delegation, Mr Modestus Chukwulaka, in Abuja quoted Karlsen as saying that “the EU is committed to seeing more Nigerian women participate in politics”.

Karlsen said the EU was putting measures in place to ensure active involvement of women in politics in the country.

He said that to this end, the EU was organising a one-day seminar to mark the International Women’s Month, in Abuja, which he said would focus attention on women’s participation in politics in Nigeria.

He said that the seminar, scheduled to take place on March 23 would discuss how Nigeria’s leadership selection process could be made more inclusive to accommodate women.

Participants, according to him, will explore ways in which women can be empowered to succeed in party primaries and in elections.

He said that they would also discuss how the playing field could be levelled and made less hostile to female candidates.

Chukwulaka said that the seminar, with theme: “How Do Women Win Elections in 2019?’’, would draw participants from the National Assembly, civil society and female politicians.

According to him, the EU has been working with governments, institutions and civil society actors to bridge the gender gaps in Nigeria.

“The EU has been supporting programmes, aimed at empowering girls and women, protecting their rights, transforming their lives and strengthening their voice as drivers of sustainable development.

“Less than five per cent of Nigeria’s 469-member National Assembly is women.

“The event will allow us to reflect on and celebrate the progress made towards full attainment of women’s rights as well as to build momentum and support for further action,” Karlsen said.


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