Activist advocates special funding for women’s participation in politics

 Dr Limota Goroso, the Executive Director, International Women Communication Centre (IWCC) , has advocated for special fund for promotion of women’s participation in politics.

Goroso made the call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday and identified three ways to get such financial support.

She said government at all levels should set aside a certain amount of money, through the Nigerian Women Trust fund, to support the participation of women in politics.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF), was created in 2011 to increase the representation of women in Nigerian governance at all levels and to address financial issues that hinder their participation in politics.

She noted that this was important because women also need money to pursue their political ambitions like men.

She added that “women are not corrupt; they do not have stolen money to push themselves. So, they must move with the little resources they have.

“Government needs to support women through the Women Trust Fund and other agencies that are ready to assist.

“Donor agencies and international communities can also support Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to bring out and amplify voices of women who want to participate in politics.

“Political parties can sacrifice by encouraging women to take part in politics by making sure they offset part of the expenses that come with politics.

“This is because if one is interested in a candidate, such a person can finance the candidate. Political parties can also finance women for political positions,” she said.

On the bill seeking to create special seats for women at the National Assembly, the women rights activist said it meant that many Nigerians were ready to have alternative leadership.

“Let us try the women. The men know that without women, nothing can happen and there will be no positive change.

“Now that they are trying to create space for us, it is the right time to also create a system that will allow us to be effective.

“What I mean by effective is that it is a different thing to create a space and it is another thing to allow us to excel,” Goroso said.

The IWCC director advocated for affirmative policy at all levels of government that would allow certain number of women in political positions.

She also demanded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be empowered to disqualify any political party that violates the arrangement.

“The third way to ensure participation of women in politics is to mobilise women who are interested to come out, and be courageous enough to vie for any vacant position that they think they can occupy.

“We need a change from what we are used to, and women are ready to make the necessary change for Nigeria to excel.”

She called for synergy among women rights groups, women in politics and women journalists, to promote women’s rights, as well as amplify and resolve those challenges inhibiting their participation in politics. (NAN)

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