Political Participation and Gender Inequality in Nigerian Fourth Republic

Abstract

Women’s participation in politics is a contentious issue in the Nigerian political life. Over the years marginalization has characterized women participation in politics due to various inhibiting social, cultural and religious forces. These forces affected women’s perception of politics leading to a very low level of political interest, knowledge and activities of women in politics. Nigeria politics became male – dominated almost making the women virtually politically invisible. However, various moves to inculcate skills and knowledge that will liberate women from abject poverty (socially, economically and politically) are on. These will go a long way to increase and improve women participation in politics in Nigeria. Women are believed to have an exciting political prospect in Nigeria. The issue of inequality has therefore been perceived by different people especially the women folk as an attempt to erode their fundamental rights. In short, Women Participation in Nigerian politics is a topic of importance. Politically, women have been relegated to the background, despite the tremendous effort put forward by government and non-governmental organizations following the declaration made at the fourth World Conference on women in Beijing, which advocated 30% affirmative action and National Gender Policy (NGP) recommendation of 35% affirmative action for a more inclusive representation of women both in elective and appointive positions. It is worthy to note as revealed by this paper, that Nigerian women are still being marginalized due to the style of leadership inherent in the country. Despite the challenges women are facing, it was discovered that women activism and advocacy, education of women, positivity on the part of successive governments towards women empowerment and interest of women to participate in politics is getting a lot of positive energy. It is therefore, an indication that the participation of women in politics has a bright future. But, this is not without that, relevant stakeholders are advised to advocate for the protection of women from abuse, empower them economically and politically and review the necessary legislations to accommodate the growing interest of women in politics both elective and appointive positions.

Keywords: Gender Inequality, Political Participation, Politics, Sexism, Women in Nigeria.


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 22-38 (Download PDF)

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