Determined to see a remarkable improvement in the participation of Niger Delta women in political leadership at the national, state and local levels, an NGO known as Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has created a platform to facilitate mobilization of community women for political participation.
The platform known as Women In Governance Network (WIGN) was inaugurated recently in the Rivers East senatorial district of Rivers state during a town hall meeting organised at Ahoada by the NGO with support from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Nigeria. The town hall meeting was attended by women from different communities who were convinced that there is need for women to get involved in decision making at all levels of governance.
David Vareba who co-facilitated the town hall meeting with Queen Agba and Marsha Nwanne on behalf of CEHRD disclosed to Silver News that the platform was necessitated by the need for a common space where women who have interest in political leadership could converge to harvest ideas.
He noted that the platform would help foster unity among women necessary for them to compete effectively with their male counterpart for governance space given the patriarchal system in place in the society. Membership of the network cuts across all political formations, said Vareba, adding that they share the same objectives and goals of emerging as part of political decision makers in their localities.
During the townhall meeting, the participants commended CEHRD and the Dutch Embassy for the initiative, saying it is a welcome development. They said in their communities, there are women who are interested in participating in politics, but do not have any idea how to begin.
The society, according to the women, is structured in such a way that governance, even at the community level, has become an exclusive right for the men folk. “We therefore find this platform as a good opportunity for us to come together and form a formidable front to make impacts in politics”.
They expressed concern over marginalisation of women in politics, saying that it will no longer be condoned. The women promised to use the platform to advance the campaign for the promotion of women participation in politics by encouraging women to boldly venture into politics. Members of the platform resolved to be having regular meetings to keep updating themselves on governance issues.