During the afternoon news hour of the Family Love FM in Umuahia, my attention was drawn to detail of the meeting that held between the first lady of Abia state, Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu and Mrs. Faridah Ijeoma Wada, and later on, my mind got reassessed to the need for strategic alliance for all women in the State, so we wouldn’t be sub-changed again in the polity of the country come 2019 and ahead.
Previous years and since my stay in Abia as a woman, it’s been the case of women against women. Alliances never existed among the women of the State for the emergence of one of us in power. It’s been the case of men leading with their experience alone, whereas women are meant to be seen in all the strata of government as a helping hand in terms of service and collaboration. Whilst they say women are help mates, but that has never been felt since the inception of a democratic government.
Over the years, Nigerian women have continued to record very poor performances in elective political offices. This is largely due to the sentimental attachment on feminine gender. Although they have been playing crucial role in political life of the country, this has not yielded results in terms of their performances when it comes to elective offices.
Today’s women, especially in Abia are besieged with challenges of which discrimination is rifer. The psyche of the Nigerian man is often predominated by a chauvinistic disposition that decision making is exclusively for the men folk while women are to be instructed on what to do. The preoccupation that women play the number two role at homes is playing itself out in their political life. It assumed that after marriage, a woman should retire to the kitchen and other room, where her place of service could only be found.
However, this low level of political participation of women should be alarming and disturbing. It will hamper women from contributing their quota to the development of Nigeria. Empirical observations have shown that women in position of responsibilities are noted to be hardworking and firm in their decision. It is high time we discovered specific factors responsible for the low level of political participation of women. That’s why I would encourage office of the First lady to help us with programmes that would focus on the factors that mitigate and militate against women in politics.
Let’s deal with the restricting factors for women in Nigerian politics, which is not far from being sedentary in nature, like the predominantly domestic female role compelling and confining women to the home. Women are seen to belong to the home, be incapable of making sound decisions and it is unbecoming of women to expose themselves in public for political activities such as campaign rallies. If you don’t have money to fund your election, you can support those doing their best to be in the race irrespective of the odds.
Extensively, there is no doubt that women have some potentials and rights to contribute meaningfully to the development of their country. Therefore, the Abia state and Nigerian government at large should work towards achieving gender equality in democratic governance, increase women participation and access to politics. It must be realized that the role of women as home makers cannot be down played in that it equally has an extended impact on their responsibility in service; besides the women touch anywhere cannot be matched.
This idea of seeing the women playing the number two role at homes has come to play itself out in the political life of the people. And this ought not to be so with regards to the ever dynamic nature of things globally as women are now seeing in other communities as avant-garde in developed nations. It is surprising that the same mindset of yester years is still what is obtained in our country.
Despite the difficulties faced by women in politics, they continue with their political ambition, contributing enormously to the political and national development in their own way as the challenges militating against them are not present, although Nigeria is yet to have a female president. Women over the years could be said to have recorded some measure of appreciable political achievement in other political fields of endeavors, meeting their political objectives with limited support and resources at their disposal.
Getting to hear the news of the meeting that held between Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu and Mrs. Faridah Ijeoma Wada in a time when political party’s election congresses are about to hold brought so much joy to my heart, because it may come to re-awake Abia women on the need to get involved. And that joy that came to my heart resonates from the very fact that I like to see women coming together for a common goal. I like to see women support each other. I like to see women taking prominent position of influence and power. Than ever before, we want that meeting to encourage the participation of more women in politics.
Women are more patient, organized and pragmatic when it comes to service rendering. The quality they carry at home when brought to the organization of things in political offices could go a long way into making Nigeria’s system of affair to be one to emulate by neighboring nations.
We wouldn’t want that meeting to be like the one we used to have in previous governments or one that would be for formality purposes where courtesy call is made and pictures are made public with zero work on ground. The coming together of these two women that we admire so much in the State should spur other women to get involved. If we as women must have our place in power, this is the time to be bold and deliberate. Such motivation can be made strong only through the support of these two amazons. They have been of great influence to women like me and various others. Women, we need more.
Adaku Ibeawuchi writes in from Umuahia, capital city of Abia state || Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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