OrderPaperToday – Chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on Women in Parliament, Mrs. Olukemi Taiwo Oluga, has acknowledged the herculean tasks facing women in contesting for elections in Nigeria.
She said for a woman to win an election is “not bread and butter” but that women must brave the odds and insist on participation in politics even when they are not financially ready for the demands of contesting for public office.
Mrs. Oluga spoke on Friday at the maiden webinar series on ‘Women in Parliament and Policy Development’ organized by OrderPaper Nigeria in collaboration with WeWe Network Afrique to focus on “21 years of democracy in Nigeria and the place of women.”
According to the lawmaker, finance should not be a yardstick for women participation in elections as she urged the female folk to get involved in politics at all levels and show interest, commitment and be ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.
“The truth is that there’s no amount of money that you will keep that will be ever enough. Women have to start showing interest because I have come to realize that most men do not (always) have money when they venture into politics,” she said, stressing that “the interest to participate and getting involved must be there. Even if they achieve 35% affirmative action, if we don’t come out it will still not make a difference.”
Her position was corroborated by Mrs. Sarah Makka-Ugbabe, Nigeria Director, ONE Campaign, who was a guest panelist on the webinar. “Funding should not be an obstacle. Women should understand that not all men who come to politics have money. But it is about determination; we can’t wait for a perfect atmosphere before we participate in politics. Money is never enough,” she said.
The panel was moderated by Mr. Oke Epia, Executive Director of OrderPaper Nigeria and Ms. Adaora Onyechere, broadcast journalist and Executive Director of WeWe Network Afrique while dotCivics provided technological support.
The event which was streamed live on the verified Facebook page of OrderPaper, had participation from advocates for women empowerment, civil society groups, journalists, professional and interest groups and others from the legislature and the executive.
Read the outcome document of the webinar here