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12.3 %, 11.6 % women in race for Senate, Reps seats – INEC

The clamour for more elective positions for women in the 2019 elections might have suffered a setback as only a handful of women will contest…

The clamour for more elective positions for women in the 2019 elections might have suffered a setback as only a handful of women will contest for National Assembly positions in the general elections.

Records released by INEC show that only 12.3 per cent of candidates contesting for the Senate are women. For the House of Representatives, out of over 1,000 candidates contesting across all political parties, only 11.6 per cent are women.

The INEC Director of Voter Education, Barr. Oluwole Osaze, disclosed this in Lagos at a one-day seminar on “Misinformation, Politics and the Nigerian Economy” organised by the School of Media and Communication of the Pan Atlantic University (PAU) with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.

Checks by Daily Trust further show that out of the 73 political parties contesting in the presidential election, only six of them are women. One of the women, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) candidate, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, had withdrew from the race, leaving five women slugging it out with 67 male candidates.

Also, out of the other candidates, only 22 of them have women as their running mates.

Barr. Osaze decried the seeming marginalisation of women who he said constituted about half of the population.

Osaze, who is also in charge of the gender section of INEC, noted that many African countries had more women in elective positions, saying Rwanda had about 50 per cent of women in parliament.

Speaking further, he said INEC would continue to advocate for a policy to limit the number of political parties from the present, but that it was up to Nigerians to embrace the idea.

Ahead of the 2019 elections, no fewer than 91 political parties are participating, with 71 of them fielding presidential candidates.

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