Political parties must restructure to accommodate women – WPF

Ebere Ifendu, President, WPF and other members, presenting a greeting card to President Muhammadu Buhari

Women in Politics Forum (WPF), has called for restructuring of Political Parties and the electoral cycle, to give a voice to women in politics.

Ebere Ifendu, President, WPF, told our correspondent in Abuja that women were perceived in various Nigerian societies, as second class citizens and mere objects of developmental and governance process.

According to her, women who constitute a greater proportion of the society undertake substantial productive and reproductive assignments in the society: in education, health and food supply.

She added that women also contribute greatly to the social stability of the young and aged. However, these leadership potentials are not maximally harnessed in our country.

‘”I argue today that for women to take their rightful positions in politics and decision making process in our country, Gender Devolution of power,

”Which may be related to gender equality in relation to political position should be included in the discourse on Nigeria Beyond Oil and the narrative on restructuring.

”The current Nigerian Constitution is largely gender blind. Even though, the document includes an anti-discrimination clause.

” One should expect that gender-based discrimination, is both traditional and entrenched, that the liberal approach cannot serve to correct the many barriers confronting women in the country.

”In addition to an anti-discriminatory legislation, there is need for constitutional provisions that are directed towards positive steps to leverage women and break down the barriers.

”We need the constitutional affirmative action provisions (as we have it in the federal character clause), to be extended to include women, and of course persons with disabilities (PWDs),” She said.

Ifendu stressed that gender devolution of power would achieve a better and greater Nigeria with no team left behind.

”Having responsive political parties with constitutional frameworks, Implementation frameworks. Gender inclusive policy formulation.

Gender responsive budget and participatory budgeting process,” she added.

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