Godswill Akpabio, the senate president, says sometimes men
should consider stepping aside to enable women take front-row seats in
Akpabio spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at an international
conference on women in governance.
The conference was organised by the National Institute for
Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
The senate president said the number of women in the upper
legislative chamber is not encouraging.
“Despite my desire to
see more women elected to the national assembly as senators and
representatives, I still feel that it is easier to get more women into
appointive offices than into elective positions in our current political
space,” he said.
“This is because the dynamics are different.
“This is why we must collectively push for a bargain with
the male folk to sometimes step aside for women to engage in the political
“For me, the number
of women in the 10th senate is not encouraging and must be deliberately
improved upon moving forward.
“There is the need, also, to raise awareness and challenge
gender stereotypes by conducting public awareness campaigns to challenge gender
stereotypes and promote the value of gender equality in governance.
“This is something this institute should do alongside
fostering the development of supportive networks and alliances with women’s
organisations, civil society groups and political activists to build solidarity
and support for women in politics.”
Akpabio said there is need for collaborative efforts to
change the narrative by encouraging more women to get involved in politics.
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