Women folks are seen as a critical stakeholders in nation building and development as they constitute an important segment of every society.
A group of women in Adamawa cut across political parties, tribe,religion and ethnic backgrounds under the umbrella of Adamawa Women Initiative for Leadership and Development (ADWILD) on their scheduled courtesy visits to organisations, political parties and religion bodies have recently visited the PDP office in the state and seeks support for women involvement in leadership structure of the party and government.
The Association under the leadership of Barr Jamila Babuba while addressing the party leadership said PDP is their first point of call and intend to visit other parties like APC, SDP, ADC, KOWA to seeks their support in bringing women into the fore front of leadership affairs.
According to Barr Jamila the movement became necessary as women folks has been relegated at the backdrop despite the enormous abilities and capacities to be whatever they want to be in the state.
“Women as critical stakeholders in the development of every nation have not been adequately included or given the space to participate in the governance and developmental processes of the state.” Jamila said
Jamila worried that Adamawa would have be more developed since the state creation in 1991 but convinced on the other hand that more could have been achieved with a well-articulated framework that adequately provides for the inclusion of women at all levels of the developmental processes.
While responding to question from news men at the party office, Barr Babuba said ADWILD is having a focused aim and mission to seeks women’s participation in leadership and governance prepare women for effective and responsible leadership, encourage women’s skills acquisition & entrepreneurship, collaborate with local, national and international organizations with similar objectives, serve as a voice for gender equality and social inclusion, advance political, social, educational and economic interest of its members and promote national integration and the peaceful coexistence of the diverse communities of the state.
“As you are aware, the development of any country or state is not just hinged on a desire or a wish for it to happen. It is largely dependent on a strong will, taking of appropriate actions and involving key stakeholders to actualize it. Women who constitute an important segment of every society and critical stakeholders in the development have not been adequately included or given the space to participate in the governance and developmental processes of the state.” She said
Bubaba, a politician and women activist continue to say that ADWILD are a group of women belonging to different political parties came together following series of consultations supported by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) through the Centre for Public Education and Mobilization for Development (CEPAD) under its “Women In Politics” program came the existence of the group set to create massive awareness of women to join politics.
Barr Jamila Bubaba further said that:
“ADWILD is a non-governmental organization comprising women who are passionate about contributing to the development of the state as well as expanding the space for more women to add their voices to issues of interest to them by actively participating in political and governance processes.
” I believe we are at a crucial moment in the life of our state leading up to what promises to be a critical time for inclusive action by all especially women irrespective of political affiliation. A time which requires decisive action for the inclusion of women in political and governance processes in Adamawa state. Nothing better demonstrates our resolve as women to contribute to the development of our state than this coming together of women of different backgrounds, political parties and religious affiliations to achieve a common objective. The purpose is to focus women’s minds and generate actions that support the development of our state.
“The current low level of women in the political and governance structures of the state is a matter of concern. Since the creation of our dear state, women have clamored for increase in the number of women in leadership positions either appointive or elective but not much has been achieved.
“ADWILD is therefore here to build the bridge to achieving women’s participation in the political and governance structures of our state.
We are not an opposition entity; we do not seek to undermine the efforts of our government. We seek however; a demonstration that there is an understanding of the important role women play in the development of any society by ensuring more women rise to positions of leadership in government. We seek a political and governance structure that is not just inclusive but fair, effective and comprehensive.
“Globally, there is growing recognition of the untapped capacity and talents of women yet the number of women attaining political positions of leadership remain low. Since 1999 Adamawa State has had very low results to show in the election and appointment of women to leadership positions. In the current national assembly, there is only one female senator representing Adamawa Central senatorial zone. We are witnesses to her exploits. At the state level, only one woman, representing Demsa constituency is in the House of Assembly. While the low number of women holding political offices may be attributed to so many factors, stakeholders such as religious and traditional leaders need to join the fray in not just supporting women but encouraging and counseling them as the case may be. Political parties on the other hand are still not very enthusiastic about increasing female candidacy despite the fact that the parties rely on women to mobilize their fellow women and elderly segment to vote for their candidates.
“In Adamawa state, only a few women have ventured into politics over the decades. Nigerian traditional societies have been and are to some extent still largely ‘patriarchal’ and tend to exclude women from decision making processes. Women are not regarded as leadership “material” due to the notion that they are emotional and lack the capacity to contend with the rigours of politicking, yet it is that characteristic that enables women to be responsive and compassionate leaders who care for their constituents. Aside tradition and culture, some of the challenges that inhibit women from active and full participation in politics include: religious and economic factors, lack of support from the existing party configurations, lack of sufficient information and data they can harness to their advantages, electoral violence and` gender stereotyping.
“The participation of women in politics remains daunting, it is still possible to increase and sustain a steady rise until a balance is achieved. In the 2019 gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections in Adamawa state, 313 candidates representing 29 political parties contested. 29 candidates were for the governorship position, while 284 contested for the 25 seats in the state House of Assembly. 4, representing 14% of the 29 governorship candidates were women, while 25 representing 9% of the 284 House of Assembly candidates were women. In all, only one woman won to represent Demsa Constituency in the state House of Assembly. This represents a decline in the number of women representatives in the House of Assembly. In 2015 there were two women, now only one is in the House of Assembly. Although there was an improvement in the number of female contestants during the 2019 elections compared to 2015, the outcome has not improved. This is attributable to continued male dominance that pervades the political landscape and society’s long held views about women in politics which is yet to ease up. The rancorous primaries conducted by political parties that are often devoid of internal party democracy attests to that. Open “endorsements” and imposition of candidates by party bigwigs shoot many women aspirants out of the race. This has not only demoralized women but heightened their fears that they may never attain any height or even make an impact if things remain the way they are. The political atmosphere in the state can best be described as male – dominated. This is evidenced by the low number of women that hold key positions in political parties and appointive positions in government.
“Lack of internal party democracy has contributed immensely to the marginalization of women in politics. In a similar manner, overwhelming poverty for which women are the most hit, access to financial resources and money politics have also contributed to the low participation of women in politics. Most women lack the economic/financial base to sustain political activity.
“It is our fervent hope as we embark on this mission to promote the inclusion of women in decision making positions for the development of our state that we shall receive the support and goodwill of all citizens of our dear state.”