An activist, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, on Monday called on women to aspire more for leadership positions through active participation in politics.
Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, an NGO, made the call in an interview with our reporter in Lagos.
She said women needed to make themselves visible in the political space in order to contribute more to nation-building.
The activist acknowledged that participation of women had improved over time, but pointed out that the level still left much to be desired.
She called for the liberalisation of the political space to encourage more women to be involved in the process.
The activist also decried the traditional, religious and cultural factors inhibiting the participation of women in politics.
“Although there has been an improvement over the past of couple of years, the participation of women in our political space is still far below average, compared to what obtains in other democracies both in Africa and in the west.
“There is the need to liberate the political space by increasing the number of positions that must be occupied by the women, starting with the observance of the 35 per cent affirmative action.
“Cost of seeking nomination and participation in party primaries must also be reduced to largely accommodate more women who have intention of going into politics and governance,” she said.
Okei-Odumakin said her NGO would continue to champion and invest in advocacy and educational programmes to liberate women politically.
On the Sept 22 elections in Osun State, Odumakin urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do its best to ensure its successful conduct.
She, however, said INEC could not do it alone, and called on stakeholders, including security agencies and the political class, to collaborate with the commission to make the election free and fair.
The activist charged the civil society to play their role in educating the electorate to vote according to their conscience.
She described vote-buying as an aberration in a democracy, urging voters to shun such practice.