A Report has queried the low participation of women as gubernatorial candidates in the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States. Released by a non-governmental organisation, Kimpact Development Initiative, and titled Why do we have Low Women Political Participation, the report had a breakdown of the gender, age and qualifications of the candidates in the two forthcoming elections.
For instance, in Edo State, 14 governorship candidates are participating in the election. Out of these, only one female governorship candidate is on the list of contestants who will slug it out in the September 19, 2020 election. Analysis further reveals that two women are sharing a ticket with male governorship candidates as deputy governorship candidate.
In Ondo State, insights from the report also recorded a worse dimension as there was no female governorship contestant while three of the female contestants that reflected among the 17 contenders for the governorship seat were running mates. In the state, analysis of the candidates’ qualifications breakdown indicates 5 candidates are WASSCE holders followed by 4 Bachelor’s degree holders while diploma, National Diploma and Higher National Diploma recorded 1 candidate each.
For running mates, the candidates’ qualifications records showed 8 candidates with Bachelor’s Degree, 5 candidates with West African Senior School Certificate, while 3 candidates hold Diploma, National Diploma and Higher National Diploma, respectively.
In terms of the age distribution, the governorship candidates’ ages range from 38- which was the least- to 67 being the oldest. In the running mates’ analysis of ages, the youngest of the deputy governorship contenders is aged 35years while the oldest running mate is 62 years.
Studies surrounding women participation in politics have decried factors militating against women flourishing in Nigerian politics. These problems included women’s socio-economic status, gendered economic and household inequalities, lower levels of female employment and education as well as religion or traditional practices. Others included a corrupt and patronage-based political system and violence at elections.