LAGOS – Female activist, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, on Wednesday urged Nigerian women to demand for 50 per cent of slots for political offices in their political parties ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Odumakin, the President of Women Arise for Change Initiative, an NGO, spoke at a workshop organised by the group for female politicians in Lagos.
The one-day “ Leadership Capacity Building Workshop for Women Leaders in Political Parties” was organised for female politicians from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.
In her keynote address, Odumakin said that despite the fact that women constituted half of the world population, they were being relegated to the background.
“Women are relegated because they have not taken advantage of their numerical strength politically.
“Women constitute 50 per cent of the world population. Women are also 50 per cent of the Nigerian population and the roles they have been playing have great bearing on national development.
“But sadly, women speak the same language and that is silence. They are discriminated against and their rights are being violated,’’ she said.
According to her, women suffer exclusion in politics, which is the reason for the capacity building programme for those of them in political parties, irrespective of affiliation.
“”There comes a time in the life of any nation when the people come to say enough is enough,” she said.
Odumakin said that women could no longer fold their arms, especially with 2015 approaching.
“Elections are not far away; party leaders and political office aspirants would want to have women come out to vote, but it is time for women to use their numerical strength to assert themselves,” she said.
Earlier, in her opening remarks, Mrs Ada Ude, Executive Director, Gender and Development Action (GADA) admonished Nigerian women in politics not to stick to the 35 per cent affirmative action.
Ude said that Nigerian women have yet to achieve the 35 per cent affirmative action.
“Women should stop jubilating over 35 per cent affirmative action because it is not about appointing or selecting them as political advisers or ministers.
“It is about those in parliament who can bring about the change the women really deserve,’’ she said. (NAN)