Women have expressed disappointment over their ‘rejection’ by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, as well as other political parties’ chairmen to attend the Nigeria Women Strategy Conference meant to build bridges of opportunity for women at the upcoming 2015 elections and beyond.
Speaking at the conference convened by House of Representatives Leader, Mulikat Akande Adeola, the Technical Adviser to Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Saudatu Sani, questioned the absence of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, Alhaji Nalado, Chief Bisi Akande and Chief Mike Umeh at a conference that concerned women.
Mrs Sani called on President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, to reprimand the national chairman of the PDP for his absence and for refusing to send a representative, saying, “This shows that women were not being honoured.”
Similarly, President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, regretted that Nigerian women were marginalised politically, even when they had key roles to play in the political and economic development of the country.
Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Helen Esuene, Mark said women’s qualitative participation in governance and political processes was key to democratic development.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the opportunity of incoming delineation of federal constituencies and Senatorial Districts to make such positions available for women.
In his keynote address, the Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), Dr. Otive Igbuzor, noted that women had been historically marginalised in social, economic and political spheres.
Also, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, said in the upcoming elections, the political terrain was challenging for women.