FORMER minister of Women Affairs and women’s leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Josephine Anenih has urged female politicians wishing to contest elections against male counterpart to adopt a militant disposition if they want to win.
Despite a lot of talk about gender equality in Nigeria, the ration of female elected officials and appointees remains one of the lowest in Africa, under 10%. Mrs Anenih, said that to turn this around, women need to be more aggressive as the time has passed when they presented themselves as the weaker sex, hoping to ride on the wings of sentiment to power.
Speaking in Awka while addressing female members of the party, she said men are equally in need of political positions and would not surrender this to a woman on a platter, so power needs to be grabbed. Mrs Anenih also charged the leaders of the party to always consider women while choosing people into committees, especially as the Anambra election draws close.
Mrs Anenih said: “You already have an example in our senator here, Senator Uche Ekwunife, so you have no reason to cry about marginalisation while contesting for elective position. We are moving towards governorship election in Anambra State and we call on women who have interest to begin early to show so.
“Don’t just contest for the sake of contesting but contest with all your might. You can see Ekwunife and how militant she was with her election and it was the men that were running away from her but today she is a senator, so that is what we expect from all women in Anambra who wish to stand for election.”
She said 35% representation was not enough for women any longer as they constitute the bulk of the party and also the voting public. Mrs Anenih, say PDP women will only accept only 40% membership of every committee constituted in the party as it will underscore the importance of women.