African News

Nigeria: Political Offices for Women Established

21 October 2006 at 23:41 | 586 views

Nigeria’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs has set up political offices in the six geo-political zones of the country to boost the participation of women in the 2007 elections, said the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Maryam Ciroma on Friday in Abuja during the launching of the Zonal Offices for Women’s Political Empowerment.

The Minister said the offices are expected to be the focal points of the mobilisation for women’s political participation in those areas they are located.

“The establishment of these offices have been made possible through the active collaboration of state governments and the constructive advice of eminent women at various consultative forums this year.

“It is pertinent to point out that though these offices had been set up by the ministry based on the approval of the president, they are accessible to all Nigerian women,’’ the minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Hajia Safia Mohammad, said.

The six NGOs chosen to lead the running of the zonal offices include many women and civil society groups all over the country.

Responding on behalf of the NGOs, Hajia Saudatu Maadi of the Women Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), said the beauty of the initiative was to encourage the much touted collaboration between civil society organisations and the government.

She expressed the hope that the initiative would be sustained even beyond the 2007 elections to ensure that women got to the right positions in the future political dispensation.

“Our major challenge will be to deal with bureaucracy of the government, which of course can prevent the sustenance of the initiative,’’ she said.

Already, six women have indicated interest to contest for the governorship, 36 for senatorial seats, 200 for the House of Representative and 300 for state assemblies.

Credit: APA News