Rep. Ugwu advocates women’s financial empowerment to increase political participation

By Angela

Princess Ugwu (LP-Enugu South) has advocated for increased financial empowerment of women to increase their participation in politics and governance processes.

Ugwu, representing Enugu South Rural Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly made the call during a virtual meeting with Gender Strategy Advancement International (GSAI).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting, via zoom, was part of efforts to realise the United Nations 1995 Affirmative Action on women gender policy.

She stressed the need to strengthen the implementation of the affirmative action which advocated for 35 per cent inclusion of women in public service and governance to ensure gender equality.

She, however, observed that the affirmative action may not be feasible if women do not have the financial muscle to compete favourable with their men counterparts in the political space.

She blamed the poor representation of women in governance on lack of financial resources, cultural, social, economic barriers, and mindsets among others.

She noted that contesting for political positions in the Nigeria’s political space requires huge financial resources which most women do not have.

“In spite of the financial waivers given to women aspirants by some political parties, most Nigerian women who seek these positions cannot afford the financial obligations.

“With this financial deficit, the women could do little or nothing to outweigh their male counterparts.

“It is very important, therefore, to empower women to be financially buoyant to enable them to sponsor their election campaigns and other political obligations,” she said.

The lawmaker said that the women could be financially empowered through skill acquisition, trade, career development among others.

She pledged to ensure a gender responsive budget in the state’s 2024 budget to implement more women empowerment programmes.

“I also want to use my office to sponsor women during the 2027 general elections and ensure that they win.

” she said.

Ugwu further called for massive advocacy to strengthen women participation in politics and impact the governance process.

She stressed the need to create awareness against gender stereotypes, gender roles biases and educate the public on the importance of women’s participation in politics for inclusive governance.

She added that the awareness campaigns and advocacies should also address the negative attitude towards persons with disabilities.

In her remarks, Ms Grace Ubeh, Communications Officer, GSAI, commended Ugwu for advocating for women empowerment.

Ubeh said that GSAI was carrying out a three-month project tagged, “Gender Advocacy and Inclusion in Nigeria (GAIN) among other projects to ensure women participation in governance.

Edited by Philip Yatai

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