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Nonye Soludo wants review of national gender policy

Nonye Soludo, wife of the Governor of Anambra State, has called for an urgent review of the National Gender Policy and supporting bills that will give better room for the involvement of women in political representation in Nigeria.

She made the call in Awka during a speech on the performances of female candidates in the 2023 general election.

Mrs Soludo’s remarks followed a recent review that said about 96% of women who contested in the 2023 general election lost to their male opponents across the country.

The review, which was conducted by a national daily, revealed that a total of 1,553 women were on the ballot for the presidential, governorship, as well as national and state assemblies’ elections held on February 25 and March 18.

Out of a total of 15,307 candidates who took part under the 18 registered political parties , male candidates constituted 13,754, which represented 89.8% while the 1,553 female candidates represented only 10.1%.

Analysis of the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also showed that only 72 women got elected at federal and state levels, while 1,487 lost the elections.

Mrs Soludo described the development as unsatisfactory, considering the great role women play in the socio-political development of the country. It has become pertinent to make Nigeria’s overall political framework friendly to women, she said.

It is time to “review the National Gender Policy and similar initiatives with strong legal backing”, so women can get better support and be encouraged to take part in politics, the Anambra First Lady added.

She congratulated women who won in the elections and urged them to “serve with the compassion” that they are known for, reminding them as well to use their positions to better the lot of others.

Reporting by Uche Ndeke; Editing by Tersoo Nicholas and Tony Okerafor