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The right to vote as women was the main demand for the women’s movement in history. Fast forward to 2018, at the eve year of another fast-rising, monumental election in Nigeria, It seems women are less interested in politics, voting and running for office as compared to their male counterparts.
It seems another year of time changing decisions will be made and women will not be part of the decision making.
Regardless of what the government has done to break that re-occurring malady, women still occupy a mere 19% of every political office in Nigeria, sadly the same is to be said for almost all African countries.
There are varied notions women have about politics in all. Politics is the most bizarre part of the public system. What do we know about politics except for the things we see on the news, and how many young African women are interested in politics enough to source out vital news in that field.
It seems like the average African woman has given up on politics, she doesn’t believe in her public officers and she has completely washed her hands away from anything concerning politics, calling it brutal, aggressive and bad.
So in general what is the view of politics amongst young women in Nigeria?
- Politics is not for women
- Politics is not for young women especially
- A woman cannot be a Public Leader, and a good wife and mother at the same time
- Politics is for greedy people who want to have a share of the National Cake
- Politicians cannot be trusted, once you become a politician you lose your trust. Stay away
- Even if we want to change things, we can never change things by voting or leading a Public office
If you have ever had one or more of these myths in your head you’re not peculiar, so does millions of young women in the country.
Ayisha Osori, is a writer, activist, lawyer and a fellow from the who ran for the office of the House of Representative in 2014.
In her book _ Love does not win elections, she completely destroys all we think about Politics and tells all, beyond emotions what politics in the state of Nigeria really means.
Her book is an eye-opener as it details her journey by becoming a member of a politic party, running for an office, experiencing the challenges of Godfatherism, and losing an election.
She says from her experience running for a position, she understood that by the election date, 80% of decent leadership is already lost. This because not a lot of people get to vote for the representative of the party at the primaries.
From her own words:
“Political parties won’t change themselves without pressures from within and without. We’ve been putting pressure from outside. What might work would be going into the party and forcing change from within If young people join political parties several things happen”.
“First they become part of the conversation, they can become delegates and they stand a better chance to be elected when they vie of an office,” says Ayisha Osori
“Our political parties are generational. Nothing is going to die out. It has become a system, a process, and a culture. I met fathers who are preparing their sons to take their positions bearing the same mentality. Whether we have old people or young people it would be the same if we do not develop a different strategy to make things work” she continues.
The 21st century has ushered young women in science, technology, and engineering, in all aspect of the society women are taking pace and leading.
When it comes to politics, it seems we are only crawling at snail pace. Nigeria has never had a Female President and it doesn’t look like we will for the next twenty years.
Coming down to the grassroots, towards and local government, only 19% of women are in the government. And most of them would be gone with this generation that is they have served for long they’d soon have to hand over.
And why do we have to be interested in politics, after all, we can change the world through entrepreneurship? We can only do so much as entrepreneurs, small business is like small building blocks for a LEGO house, little by little can create a magnificent edifice.
Politics is like the bond that binds them all together, if we have a decaying system, people will grow businesses that will only crumble due to forces beyond them.
Through politics, we can create better incentives for smallholder farmers, startups, and budding entrepreneurs.
All of these will be possible if we have good governance down to our grassroots level.
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