WIMBIZ PRESSES FOR PROGRESS IN FEMALE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
Cross section of Guest Speakers and Panelists at the WIMBIZ Annual Lecture Themed; Women, Politics and Nation Building held in Lagos.
On March 22nd, 2018, WIMBIZ held the Lagos edition of its Women in Politics (WIMPol) workshop themed, Politics 101, the Winning Formula. The WIMPol workshop, which held at Eko Hotel and Suites immediately after the WIMBIZ Annual Lecture aimed to bring together women with zeal and passion for the development sectors to discuss topical issues and share strategies for success in the light of a rapidly changing global, economic and socio-political landscape. Over 200 women were in attendance for the workshop.
In her welcome address to participants at the workshop, Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi, the current Chairperson of the WIMBIZ Executive Council noted that the lack of female representation in the political and governance structure of Nigeria is borne out of a strong adherence to patriarchal beliefs, cultural perceptions about the role of a woman, the nature of the political arena in Nigeria and the steep financial barriers to entry into the political game. “Women in Nigeria have, in their own way, played a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the country. The WIMPol workshop exists to help women who want to do more for the political advancement of this nation.” – She added.
During her session, Ijeoma Okey-Igbokwe, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos, noted that INEC recognizes that democracy can have no meaning if all groups, including marginalized groups are not represented in the political space. She urged all present to start their political journey early and emphasized that the first step in getting involved in the political space is obtaining a Personal Voter’s Card (PVC).
Speakers at the workshop included Amb. Folake Marcus Bello, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari and Hon. Nnenna Ukeje. All three speakers highlighted the importance of encouraging civic participation at all levels by registering to vote and encouraging others to register to vote. Through their personal experiences, they emphasized the need for women to be present, actively involved at all levels and willing to overcome the hardships that the political journey brings in order to bring about a better Nigeria.
The workshop was moderated by Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Special Advisor to the Governor on Trade and Investment, Ogun State. The Abuja edition of the WIMBIZ WIMPol workshop will hold later this year.