Challenges and Prospects of Women Political Participation in Nigeria
Keywords:Women, Participation, Social Lynching, Electoral Competition, Gender
Nigerian women are squeezed out of electoral competition despite the numerical size they occupy in Nigeria’s population. This disposition is aided by religious, cultural, biological and even cognitive dynamics. This has over the years limited their participation in electoral competition in Nigeria especially during the current Fourth Republic. This paper investigated the theoretical literature on women and electoral competition, impediments to women participation in electoral competition in Nigeria and possible ways that will encourage or ease women participation in electoral contests in Nigeria. Although it visited a background, this paper did not look at electoral competition in pre-Fourth Republic civilian dispensations. Through documentary analysis and one anonymous interview, the paper found out that women all over the world face challenges in electoral competitions including the most advanced democracies. It also found out that the situation in Nigeria is bleaker as women are politically decapitated and are made décor materials during electoral competitions. A major finding of this paper is women face social lynching, a form of blackmail, in their political ambitions. Finally, the paper found out that women participation in electoral competition can be encouraged by empowering women with quality education, and making personal trajectories more important qualities in registering and voting candidates in elections in Nigeria.
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