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INEC Chairman advocates more women’s participation in electoral process

United Nations (UN) Women Representative in Nigeria, Ms Comfort Lamptey decorates the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu with an emblem, during her courtesy visit to the Commission.

By Nathaniel Gana
 The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has reiterated the need for an all-inclusive and gender balance political space, to encourage more women participation in the electoral process.
Professor Yakubu made the call on 25th August when he received the United Nations Women Country Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey at his office in Abuja.
He noted that the Commission, in collaboration with gender-based organizations such as the UN women, had been taking steps to encourage political parties to increase women participation during electoral contests.
The INEC Chairman noted with delight that the Commission’s consultations with Political Parties had been yielding positive results.
Speaking on the INEC Gender Policy which was launched in 2015, Professor Yakubu, said: “We have already launched the Policy and we are committed to ensuring that we deepen its implementation as we move towards the 2019 general elections.”
As part of the Commission’s efforts to ensure an all inclusive participation in the 2019 general elections, the INEC Chairman hinted that the Commission, in collaboration with UN women and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), would be developing strategies aimed at making the number of women count in the elections. “It is beyond engaging with the political parties. We are also need to engage with CSOs in that respect”, he said.

Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu (4th right), United Nations Women Representative in Nigeria, Ms Comfort Lamptey (3rd right), National Commissioners May Agbamuche-Mbu (left), Air Vice Marshal (Rtd) Ahmed Muazu (2nd left, back row), Anthonia Okoosi-Simbine (3rd left) and Adekunle Ogunmola (2nd right) during Ms Lamptey’s visit to the Commission. PHOTO: TAIWO MAKANJUOLA

Earlier, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, who recently assumed office as UN Women Country Representative in Nigeria, noted that the UN Women and INEC had been working towards increasing women’s participation in the electoral process but noted that there was room improvement.

She pointed out that Nigerian women have the least representation in parliaments across Africa, a position she said needed to be addressed especially as Nigeria was regarded as a leader in Africa. 
The envoy pledged the support of her organization in the implementation of the INEC Gender Policy as well as collaboration towards gender mainstreaming in the electoral process in Nigeria.