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The Missing Link: Women’s Representation and Participation in Nigeria’s Electoral Politics and their Effects on Nigeria’s Development.

By Oluwabusayo Adu


This study is to draw attention to the connection between equal gender political participation and political development. The cases observed in this research confirm the capability of Nigerian women to hold political leadership roles and to engage in decision-making activities that can affect the nation's development. However, they have not been given "real leadership and decision-making positions" until recently when very few number of women are given positions on the federal level. It is imperative for the Nigerian women of today to realize that the women in theses case studies were able to make more changes in Nigeria in spite of limitations in economy, education, and politics. It is then, a challenge for the women of our time. \ud \ud I have chosen to look at the cases of Aba women and the western women associations because each gives a picture of women exercising essential characteristics that make strong leader. These women fought for their rights and belief at a time when there was almost no support for women to engage in such endeavor. They were bold, strong, relentless, determined, and were not afraid to confront an authority that even Nigerian men were afraid of. Although these cases are quite dated, Nigerian women today can still learn from their history. \ud \ud It is of course not realistic to suggest that once the governance is turned to women things will automatically change. However, the male domination of the past forty-eight years in Nigeria has shown that there is a need for a political reform. This reform is not, however, a call for all male figure to vacate their offices; it is a call for equal and indiscriminate gender representation in government. When Nigeria can make this transformation, it can then boast of a true political development.\ud \ud This work focuses on the relationship between women's active participation in politics (decision making positions) and political development in Nigeria. Some of the questions that will be addressed include (1) how will the increase in the number of women in electoral politics transform Nigeria politics? (2) Why is it important for women to be equally involved in electoral politics as opposed to local politics or organized (grassroots) politics? And (3) What are some of the obstacles facing women in their approach today

Year: 2008
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