Anenih Says Women Must Be Encouraged To Get Into Active Politics
By Iduozee Efe Paul, Benin
Former minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Iyom Josephine Anenih, says the Nigeria League of Women Voters of Nigeria(NILOWV), was established to train and empower women and girls to take part in active politics to enhance good governance.
She said: “We must empower our women and girls to be more informed and active in politics and governance”.
Mrs. Anenih made the explanation at a press briefing held in Benin City to unveil activities to mark the 25th anniversary of the Nigeria League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWV).
Hon. Josephine Anenih, who is the chairperson of the 25th Anniversary Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the organization, said women are often stigmatized and attacked if they are involved in any issue citing the example of the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Patricia Etteh, who was impeached and who the former Women Affairs minister said was set up by “powers that be.”
Hon. Anenih who is the 1st vice president, said the theme of the conference is, “Full and Equal Participation of Women in Public Life and Leadership” which aim “is to enable the league fully explore progress made by women in public life and leadership in the last 25 years.
She stressed that getting women on board public leadership and political space is a collective challenge that needs input from all stakeholders as it has become an established fact that no nation can develop when half of her population is held back.
She explained that the League of Women Voters of Nigeria, (NILOWV), is a non-governmental organization, which also mentors girls and women above 18 years through sensitization and education on their civic rights and responsibilities.
“NILOWV like her counterparts all over the world, continues to encourage and empower our women and girls to be more informed and active in politics and governance.
“We are glad to note that in Nigeria, women have become the highest number of voters but we are striving to see their utilization of their votes to increase women participation in decision making in politics and governance through voting for women to occupy such positions,” Iyom Anenih stated.
She said NILOWV has engaged all major political parties, agencies and institutions like the National Assembly, for policy and law reforms to increase women’s access and participation in public life.
The anniversary activities were rounded up in Abuja and the keynote address was delivered by the minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen.
Former speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Elizabeth Ativie said during her time as speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, a lot of women were empowered and persuaded to join politics.
Hon. Ativie said, women if given equal opportunity to participate in politics in Nigeria, will occupy more political offices.
Contributing, the Edo State chairperson of Girls Power Initiative (GPI), Mrs. Grace Osakue, said NILOWV does not give scholarship to women and girls, but explained that there are individual members in the association that gives scholarship to women and girls to further their education.
She said the Edo state chapter is embarking on various training programmes to empower the girls and women in the state.
Activities marking the 25th anniversary celebration of NILOWV in Edo State started on Friday, 19 November, 2021, at the University of Benin main campus, Ugbowo, Benin-City.