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… Appeals to Gov. Abiodun to fashion more ways and supports to increase gender candidature in elective offices

The100 Women Lobby Group has decried the low female representation in the coming local government elections in Ogun state. The group which is a network of 100 women-led, not for profit, grassroots based organizations, stated this during a Press Conference held recently in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital. The group that has been in existence for more than 25 years, comprises organisations and individuals working to improve the participation and role of women in politics and governance and geared towards achieving the 35% Affirmative Action at all levels and beyond.

The group, led by Prof (Mrs) Olubunmi Awolowo, while descrbing the situation as worrisome, appealed to Gov. Dapo Abiodun to fashion more ways and support to ensure that more women vie for elective offices especially at the grassroots level.

“Under the current difficult and challenging times, the government should not miss a key opportunity to increase women’s representation in local elections, this would help ensure parity in gender representation”.

The Lobby Group while also commending Governor Dapo Abiodun for being proactive in ensuring gender representation in all spheres of governance, affirmed that the Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development specifically mentioned the efforts of the governor during the Ministerial Media briefing on the review of 1999 Constitution held on May 24, 2021 by 12 noon at Abuja and broadcasted via zoom (virtually) where the Minster took time to commend efforts of the Governor at supporting women’s political participation. “He was recognized as a ‘he for she”. I see the forthcoming LGA election as an opportunity for Mr. Governor to do something to further support the political aspirations of our women. This is bearing in mind that all around the world, the wind of change is blowing and Ogun State must not be left out
“The low representation of women in local government affairs in Ogun State is worrying, and a lot of challenges are currently facing women who dare to come out at this point in time. Some had been asked to step down while some were promised Secretary of Local Government
“We need the support of the State Governor, Prince (Dr.) Dapo Abiodun MFR, we equally need support from well-meaning Ogun State citizens and the media to support and promote the political aspirations of our women, in order to achieve 35 percent affirmative action, which is a lot far from being realized judging from the prevailing situation within the political parties in the State
“In spite of efforts of many women to participate actively in governance and get higher positions, low women representation still remains a challenge. Mr. Governor has a critical role to play now, in getting more women into politics and leadership positions by promoting and protecting their interests, at this point in time
“Most of our women in this region have been socialised in a way that they cannot withstand the pressure and acrimony in politics especially in positions that require campaigning and voting. This is where Mr. Governor can come in, so that in places where women had indicated interest at running, their interest can be protected and promoted. We must not forget that women empowerment is a tool for state and national development, we should not overlook this, most especially having high representation of women at the local level of governance
” It is noted that in the forthcoming election, only 3 women are going for the position of Local Government Chairmanship out of the 20 Local Government Areas in Ogun State Also, the number of women coming out for the position of counsellorship is really low” Attributing the low participation to systemic pressures and political manouvers,The group stated further

“This as a a result of the systemic pressures and maneuvers that had short changed them. There is a need to support the few women, who have had the courage to come out and put forward themselves for elections
“Mr. Governor should kindly take a second look at the selection process that produces people (males and females) for primaries within the Wards and LGAs in the State

“Once again we applaud the efforts of the State government and all partners, corporate citizens, CSOs, the media and all who have contributed or have intentions to contribute towards reducing the gender gap in governance”

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