EU seeks ways to bridge gender gap ahead of 2019 polls

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the European Union will focus attention on women’s participation in Nigeria’s political process during a one-day seminar to mark the International Women’s Month, in Abuja on March 23rd, 2018. The event taking place at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, will discuss how Nigeria’s leadership selection process can be made more inclusive to accommodate women.

Participants will explore ways in which women can be empowered to succeed in party primaries and elections proper, as well as how the playing field can be leveled and made less hostile to female candidates. Themed ‘How Do Women Win Elections in 2019?’ the seminar will draw participants from the National Assembly, the civil society, and female politicians.

The European Union has been working with governments, institutions and civil society actors to bridge the gender gaps in Nigeria. It has been supporting programmes aimed at empowering girls and women, protecting their rights, transforming their lives and strengthening their voice as drivers of sustainable development. Less than 5% of Nigeria’s 469-member National Assembly are women.

“The event will allow us to reflect on and celebrate the progress made towards full attainment of women’s rights, as well as to build momentum and support for further action. The European Union is committed to seeing more Nigerian women participate in politics,” Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said.