Nigeria is a nation that has almost 50% of its population as women but with just if not less than 6% of the number representing the body in Nigerian politics. This may defy common logic since Nigeria as a country claims to practice democracy which we know is a game of number. Questions will be, why is this number not speaking in favor of Nigerian women?
There are many factors why this is so, but first, I am going to highlight the women as a factor against themselves. Now, this is not an attempt to bag every Nigerian woman and easily dismiss them as being their own problem. This is to let them know how they may be knowingly or otherwise contributing to male dominance.
The average Nigerian woman, especially the majority that dwells in the rural area may not be in knowledge of the power she wields both as in number and as a person. She is yet to grow above or at par with the culture she was brought up in. A culture that would have her see her fellow as the competitor she must not allow to grow above her. A culture that would have her fight her fellow to maintain the loyalty of the man in their life. A culture she grew up in to see the man as superior, sophisticated and full of wit. This kind of Nigerian woman becomes a problem to her fellow who has discovered her essence and comes out to contest for an elective or appointive position.
She would easily ascribe that ancient rivalry to this woman that wants to grow and show wit. Instead of rallying around her fellow, she would rather distance herself from her. Why, because she was shy of the level of sophistication the fellow has attained or because of the ancient rivalry? No, not exactly the truth. It was because she does not know this other woman anymore. She used to know her, but ever since she left, built her career or married that chief that understood the importance of women and helped her build her career, her class had changed and she would instead remain up there with her type than show the light to her fellow down there.
She would prefer this job to be done by foreign NGO’s, few of her type or sang lyrics to the Nigerian government of the day, dominated by the men and paid lip service to the course. The only time you see this class of women raise such issues was when elections draw near. They are forever comfortable once they retained their seat. This was why we see the same face of the same women in Nigerian politics every election year.
To bring more Nigerian women in politics and allow their number to speak for them, the few Nigerian women already there should know they have a job to do with their fellow uneducated and at the rural.
By Okorie Ignatius Chimuanya
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org