As political parties jostle to produce running mates for their presidential candidates, the Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria has said women and youths should not be excluded from elective positions.
The CSOs called on the the parties to pick women and youths as running mates to Presidential candidates and increase the level of their participation in the 2023 general elections.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Comrade Adams Otakwu, Chairperson, Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria, said of all the political parties, none has a woman as Presidential standard bearer for the 2023 General Elections.
“Less than 5% of gubernatorial candidates are women, while over 95% are men. Less than 10% of candidates for the Federal Parliament are women while over 90% are Men. Less than 20% of candidates for State Parliaments are Women, while over 80% are men.”
“These figures fall far below the global average, were women hold about 23% of the seats in Parliaments according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union data, on global average.
“Regrettably, these appalling statistics and extremely imbalanced ratio are unassertive of our commitment as a country to affirmative action and gender parity, especially when compared with countries like Rwanda, South-Africa, Ethiopia, New Zealand, India, the Philippines with women figures playing prominent roles in their governments.
“Nigerian Women, Youths and People With Disabilities (PWD) deserve to be at the epicenter of political governance in 2023. We believe strongly that the presence of women in the next political dispensation of Nigeria, will greatly shape the country’s destiny, make symbolic impact and deliver substantive reforms in our social, political and economic destiny, as demonstrated by some of our outstanding women like Hajya Amina Mohammed of the United Nations, and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organization amongst others.
“It is against this background that we strongly advocate and call on all political parties participating in the 2023 General elections in Nigeria to adopt and field women and youths as running mates (at state and national levels) in order to gain massive support of women, youths.”