Ahead of 2019 general elections, a cross section of female politicians from various political parties in the South West geo-political zone have rose from a capacity building roundtable in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, over the weekend resolving to make a sharp difference both in quality and quantity at the poll.
They asserted to evolve more responsible and responsive politics on their resolve to partner the media, more than ever before, in their pre and post-election awareness strategies.
Narrating their experiences after participating in the two-day intensive workshop organized by International Press Centre (IPC) for Female Politicians on Effective Strategies and Methodologies in Engaging Media for Visibility during Electoral Campaigns, the political office seekers insisted that it was high time the womenfolk displayed more self-confidence and come out in larger numbers to compete with their male counterparts, without any inhibitions whatsoever.
The workshop which was organized with European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria, however identified the factors currently preventing women participation in politics in the country which include cultural and religious problems, lack of internal democracy within political parties, lack of resources particularly money and social capital as well as violence and intimidation.
To overcome the identified setbacks in the present political dispensation, the female politicians resolved to engage more in partnership with the media to frameworks for citizen mobilization with regard to the various issues hitherto affecting their fortunes at the polls.
Baring her mind, one of the participants, Mrs. Olubunmi Adelugba, a former Commissioner in Ekiti State who is currently contesting for aseat in the State House of Assembly on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) remarked that “the society needs to see more strong, powerful and goal-driven women standing up for their rights”.
For the womenfolk to achieve their goals in the national polity, Mrs. Adelugba who is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) submitted that their attitude to the media must change positively just as she enjoined female politicians to see the media as good partners in progress.
Speaking in the same vein, Mrs. Mercy Ayodele, the Governorship candidate of Restoration Party of Nigeria in Osun State at the last election emphasized the need for female politicians to exhibit sustained visibility and policy consistency in order to excel in the male-dominated polity.
Another participant, Mrs. Bunmi Fadoju of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who is the only female candidate currently vying for a seat in the Ondo State House of ssembly urged women politicians in Nigeria to engage more in community development activities and share the aspirations of the constituents so as to be more relevant among the people in their local communities.