Political parties in the country have been urged to come out with deliberate policies that would ensure gender inclusion in politics.
Idris Miliki, executive director, Conscience for Human Rights and Resolution (CHRCR), gave the advice at a one-day meeting for political parties organised by CHRCR in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with the theme “Prioritizing Anti-Corruption and Accountability Issues towards 2023 Election, held in Lokoja recently, stressing the need for political parties to develop and have deliberate policies on women recruitment in politics while urging the women to take responsibility and be actively involved in politics.
He said, “The men have the advantage but the women themselves have not studied the political parties system to see how they can come in”.
”If women cannot be elected they can be appointed and also be a member of several committees and institutions by political parties”.
”We are not saying that political party is about winning elections alone, but women should be members of political parties of their choice”.
”If you are members of political parties you must be active and attend all meetings irrespective of time even at night”.
He emphasised that there were women who are doctors, nurses, military, police and pilots that work in the night, hence the night meetings by political parties should not discourage women from being active in politics, adding that there was no reason whatsoever why women would not be able to participate in politics including attending meetings in the middle of the night since their men counterparts were also doing so.
”So, women should take out those stereotypes of men, there should be no sentiment. Women must register among political parties of their choice, build it, pay their dues like every other man, and do not allow themselves to be intimidated.
”Women must not be intimidated in politics and can be elected in any elective position like chairman, vice chairman of every political party.
”People should not hide under pretence of religion and culture and be depriving the women of their fundamental human rights; a woman can be anything like any man”.
He urged women to be committed and invest their time and resources in politics and take their destinies into their hands by being politically relevant.
The executive director also urged political parties to incorporate anti-corruption and accountability in their manifestoes to serve as a guide to prospective candidates that would win elections on their behalf, noting that the project’s goal was to reduce corruption in Nigeria by bolstering support for anti-corruption, and social inclusion among critical groups and strengthening policies and programs for anti-corruption at the state level as Nigeria prepares for elections in 2023.
He commended journalists in the state for stepping up on their reportage on the anti-corruption crusade through their various media organizations, adding that political parties and their candidates do not keep to their campaign promises, which was one of the reasons for the disenchantment of the citizens in governance.
Miliki equally stressed that the civil society should strictly monitor, as part of the project, campaign promises of selected political parties to ensure that citizens were not short-changed in governance, adding that the CSO would ensure documentation of campaign promises by political parties and their candidates, and strictly follow up on them.
However, he called for continuous interactions to improve the relationship between the citizens and the political parties.
Miliki commended the people of Anambra State who stood out clearly and committed to vote for candidates of their choice.
“In spite of the threat, Anambra people have demonstrated the fact that we can organise free, fair and peaceful elections in the country if the people are determined to do so”.
”We also commend INEC for coming up with new innovation because there is no perfect system”.
”We also commend the security agencies for their role in ensuring free, fair and peaceful election in Anambra State”.
He commended the entire Nigerians for the success of the Anambra elections and urged the INEC to build on what they had seen in Anambra to perfect Nigeria’s electoral system.
Various political parties ‘executives, media and CSOs attended the meeting
The state’s chairmen of SDP, YPP, AA, ADP; Mouktar Atimah, Shola Medupin Ukwanye Musa, and Sunday Onaji, respectively, as well deputy publicity secretary of PDP, Mohammed Kabir, in their various comments commended the organisers for the political meeting, adding that they had learnt a lot from the meeting as they were equipped and informed on the roles of political parties in the political setting as it concerns anti-corruption tendencies and gender inclusion in politics.
They equally called for increased political awareness among women while urging political parties to put deliberate strategies for the inclusion of women.