The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmud Yakubu, on Tuesday frowned at the low participation of women in politics despite the various efforts being made to get them involved.
Professor Yakubu stated this when he played host to the newly elected members of executive of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) during a courtesy visit on him in Abuja.
The INEC Chairman observed with unhappiness that the number of women seeking elective positions in the country is still abysmally low.
He pointed out that democracy around the world cannot be complete without the full participation of women,” he said.
While noting that despite the fact that some political parties have shown gender balance through the nomination of women in elective and appointive positions, he added that most women are yet to take such advantage.
He stated, for example, that despite the high population of women in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, none of them contested in this year’s Area Councils election, which comprised six chairmanship positions and 62 councillorships.
According to him, “Democracy around the world cannot be complete without the full participation of women”.
However, Professor Yakubu observed that one of the political parties contesting the September 10 governorship election in Edo State, has a woman as its governorship candidate, while a number of others nominated women as running mates.
The Chairman assured that INEC would continue to encourage more women to participate in elections, not only as voters but as candidates.
He expressed the hope that the number of political parties that would nominate women as candidates in subsequent elections would continue to rise.
Yakube promised that women would be included as observers in the forthcoming Edo and Ondo States governorship elections and other subsequent elections in the country.
The newly elected President of the NCWS, Chief (Mrs.) Gloria Laraba Shoda, had earlier identified violence as one of the factors militating against the participation of women in politics, and thus called for the eradication of the scourge to enhance women’s involvement in politics.
Mrs. Shoda equally requested that women should be accredited as observers during elections to enable them gather data on the ill-treatment meted out to women folk.
The NCWS President lauded INEC for lending its voice to gender mainstreaming among political parties.
This, she said, has led to change of attitude by politicians towards women participation in politics.