Global Resources

Women and political participation: toward attainment of 35% affirmative action and obstacles to the women participation in Nigerian politics and decision making process

Author: M Abubakar, Z Bn Ahmad
Publication Date: Jan 2014

Women’s political participation in Nigeria is an issue of concern, with a continuing record of women's underrepresentation in both elective and appointive positions. However, several efforts have been made by both government and non-governmental organisations to increase the level of women's participation in politics through affirmative action. This paper, published in the Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science, examined these efforts and the obstacles facing women in political participation.

As previous literature has shown, women’s political participation trends have witnessed a drastic change after the reintroduction of democracy from 1999-2011. This was due to the efforts made by government and non-governmental organisations towards the attainment of mandated 35% affirmative actions. However, despite the increasing number of women in both elective and appointive positions from 1999-2011, it has been observed that women are still marginalised, considering the disparity in the proportion of men to women in political and decision-making positions.

The authors found that factors such as socio-economic, ecological, cultural practice, political violence, illiteracy among women, and the contradictory nature of government policies has led to a lower level of women's political participation, and these factors consequently become an obstacle to the full realisation of 35% affirmative action in the Nigerian political system.

[adapted from source]