The Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) has identified fear of political violence and sexual exploitation as some of the major factors impeding participation of women in politics.
Speaking at a meeting in Lagos on legal reform and women participation in political leadership in Nigeria organised by NFF with support from ActionAid, the focal person for NFF, Chinonso Okechukwu, lamented that Nigeria had been recording low participation of women in both elective and appointive positions.
According to her, Nigerian politics has always been characterised by one form of violence or another since the return of democracy.
She said women participation in politics has drastically reduced because female aspirants of various political parties could not withstand political violence.
She also noted the existence of sexual exploitation that custodians of party lists put as part of negotiation, thereby taking advantage of aspirants, particularly women.
“Following the way politics in Nigeria is played, it is being perceived that it is meant for individuals that have no regard for human rights and are quick at compromising their virtue for indecent gains. As such women aspirants are looked down upon as shameless and promiscuous,” Okechukwu said.