WOMEN in Politics Forum (WIPF) says the high cost of electioneering in Nigeria is the main reason hindering participation of many women in politics.
President of WIPF, Mrs Ebere Ifendu, said this in Calabar on Tuesday, at a workshop on Gender Sensitive Reporting in Nigeria.
The training workshop, organised by WIPF with support from National Democratic Institute (NDI) is centered on preparing journalists to promote women political participation.
Ifendu said that the last primaries election that produced candidates of various political parties were too expensive, hence many women did not participate in the process.
”The internal party democracy, monetisation of primaries and election in Nigeria is a very big hindrance for women participating in politics.
“We are organising this forum with the support of NDI to spur women to take active participation in politics and how they can be supported.
“We need to engage the media and to tell them not to stereotype us when reporting women issues. We need the media as a critical partner so that women voices can be amplified and heard.
“We are also engaging different women groups to spur them to come out and unite in one voice because we need to be projected,” she said.
The WIPF president noted that the participation of women in politics was very low, from the elected representatives in the National Assembly to states level.
According to her, it is time for different political parties to take a decision and put a benchmark on the amount to be spent by an aspirant or candidate during electioneering.
” This is because high cost of nomination forms in most cases end up bringing those who are not qualified to contest and those who are qualified not to contest.
”A critical look at the primaries of the two major parties in Nigeria shows that the tickets are for the highest bidder,” she said.
Ifendu added that the high cost of forms were affecting democracy, women, youths and persons with disabilities.
She urged political parties to create other ways of generating funds to sustain the party apart from selling of forms.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WIPF is a multi-party organisation for women in politics that helps voters, candidates, canvassers and grooming of young people to participate in politics. (NAN)