The National Council for Women Societies(NCWS),has advocated the holding of political meetings during the day time when married female politicians can attend and effectively participate in politics.

President of the council, Dr Gloria Shoda, made this known on Monday in Abuja

She Spoke at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement on Enhancing Women’s Participation in the Political Process in Nigeria.

Dr Shoda, who was represented by Dr Nwanganga Ibeh, the President South-East Professional Women Association of Nigeria at the event, said that because of cultural reasons women were not allowed out late at nights, and so could not be present at such night political meetings where important decisions were taken.

The event was organised by National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in collaboration with the  European Union (EU).

“In our culture, we know that women are not supposed to stay out late or come home very late, most marriages pack up when women become very actively involved in politics,’’ she noted.

She said this was especially so if such women gave in to attending late night political meetings where importance decisions were taken.

“And we know that when they do not turn up for these night meetings where important decisions are taken, they are just left off,” she said

“So I want to advocate that for women in politics to be effectively active in policy making and political party activities, political meetings should hold when it is reasonable for a married woman to attend.

“Because we are in a changing and challenging world where violence is becoming the order of the day, political meetings should be held in the day time.”

The Executive Director, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Hajiya Mufuliat Fijabi, in her remarks, said her office was working to bridge the gender gaps in governments.

“We are working to ensure that there is political will to assist women to be where they have to be in terms of participating actively in politics and the electoral process,” she said.

“We have been mobilising women and giving them necessary technical assistance to enhance their opportunities to emerge as elected representatives and appointed persons in government.”

She, however, noted that women were still being challenged because of political terrain in the country and cultural background in some cases.

Dr Leonard Nzenwa, the Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) Chairman assured that going forward, women would have a better deal in politics because they would always be carried along.

He, however, added that most of the political request made by women needed constitutional backings to actualise them.

“Most of the things being requested by women need constitutional backings; you don’t just talk of reserving particular positions for women, you have to look at the constituency and other things.

“It is not only a one party thing, it is an inclusive thing and that is why we are asking the National Assembly to make these provisions where it will be possible for all parties to comply with.

“If it is going be seven sits that will be kept aside for women, all the parties will comply,’’ he said.

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