Global Resources

The dynamics of women's political emancipation and political participation in Nigeria

Author: O Ebenezer Oluwole
Publication Date: Jan 2014

The role of women in the organisation of society and, more importantly, government cannot be underestimated. Throughout history, women have contributed significantly to the socio-economic and political developments of their countries, and have brought dynamism to the changing global environment. However, the feat achieved by women in the development of ancient pre-colonial Nigeria was disarticulated by the advent of colonialism laced with gender oppression and exploitation, accompanied by cultural/traditional practices, marital injunctions and religious doctrines that all disempowered women from participating in public decision making processes.

This is the context presented by way of introduction in this essay, published in the Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, which examines the dynamics of women’s political emancipation and political participation in Nigeria. The author argues, using empirical data and analysis, that political movements, activism and various affirmative actions aimed at eradicating all forms of discrimination against women have contributed toward the liberation of Nigerian women from political seclusion.

The paper concludes that the Nigerian government needs to encourage women by institutionalising affirmative actions against women’s political marginalisation and inequality. Policies should encourage political parties to entrench in their constitutions and manifestoes quota systems that reserve a certain percentage of elective positions for women at all levels, including the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeriacolo, and be made justiciable if breached by concerned parties.

[adapted from source]