Mrs Stella Okotete, the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Women Representative, has advocated for mentorship and financial support to improve women’s participation in politics.
Okotete, who is also the Executive Director, Business Development of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) made the call when members of the 100 Women Lobby Group (WLG) paid her an advocacy visit in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to her, older politicians, particularly women should mentor and groom the younger ones in politics to enable them participate actively, improve gender inclusiveness and address challenges affecting women and girls.
“What you do will either create a new pathway for other women or stop other women from attaining to such heights.
“That is why we need that leadership mentoring and networking,” she said.
She also stressed on the need for professional women to be involved in politics to change the narrative by redefining what women in politics need to do to succeed and contribute towards national development.
“We need to change the narrative of what politics is because there is already a social dimension, a public perception of what women in politics do.
“Changing the narrative is the biggest task we need to address and if we do not do it, we will have more women running away from politics.
“Ensure that you are bringing experience, your intellect to the fore and not something else. We also need women to support other women,” she added.
The leader also encouraged younger women to delve into politics and give in their best by bringing up new ideas and expertise that will aide in developing the nation.
On the issue of insecurity and political thuggery, Ototete stressed the need for women to instil values in their children and caution them against being used to cause chaos or harm to the society.
“As women we need to lay emphasis especially with the level of thuggery and insecurity in the country,” she said.
She added that she will work with the document on “Improving Electoral Integrity and Accountability in Nigeria Project” submitted by the group to ensure its implementation to improve women’s participation in politics.
Earlier, Irene Ugba, a Gender Activist and member of the WLG said that the visit was to rally support for the implementation of the project aimed at unraveling critical issues that hinder women’s political participation and decision making in Nigeria.
Ugba said that the project would focus on electoral integrity and accountability, aimed at institutionalising the anti-corruption and accountability discourse to reflect women’s issues and voices.
She revealed that a study was conducted as part of the project to explore and understand the perspectives of Nigerian women in relation to gender issues that affect their participation in politics and key leadership positions.
“We hope that the findings of this study will form a firm foundation for an evidence based approach to improving women’s political participation, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 5, and agenda 2063,” she said.
In her vote of thanks, Anne Ikpeme, also a Gender Activist and lawyer expressed appreciation to Okotete, stressing that support to women will aide accountability within political parties and inclusion of youths for transparent governance and leadership.