Discrimination against young women in school politics should end – GADA

Participants at the political debate on inequality in politics experienced by young women in tertiary institutions on Friday in Calabar

GENDER and Development Action (GADA) through its Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project has called for the end to discrimination against young women in school politics.

This was disclosed by Ms Nnenna Ugbor, Acting Programme Manager, GADA during its political debate for tertiary institutions designed to end discrimination against young women in school politics, on Friday in Calabar.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the debate which is part of GADA’s celebration of International Women’s Day, was supported by Global Affairs Canada and Actionaid.

Ugbor said they worked to build the capacity of young women in tertiary institutions to nurture their political aspirations, support and invest in their leadership in their respective tertiary institutions.

“Young women are the least represented amongst political leadership and we recognised that their participation in formal politics is  important as they lead issues like climate change, racial justice and gender equality.

“As part of this celebration, GADA wants to focus on an important aspect of women’s rights which is strengthening their involvement in decision making, whether economic, political or social,” she said.

In a goodwill message from Dr. Gertrude Njar, Commissioner for Women Affairs in Cross River, she thanked GADA for complimenting the effort of the ministry in improving multi-sectoral services for all women and girls in the state.

Represented by Mr Hope Oyama, a Staff of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Njar said the debate was apt as it helped to raise the consciousness of women as a means of reducing gender based Violence in school politics.

On his part, Mr Ntoe Oqua, Clan Head of Big Qua Town in Calabar, noted that the debate had come at a right time  during the 2023 General Elections.

Oqua said the education and political enlightenment of women in the society empowered the women to equal their male counterparts in the civil service, politics and in the military.

“There is need for women to be actively involved in the country’s decision making as well as female representatives, both in private and public spaces.

“I appeal for the continuous support of state actors, community leaders, tertiary institutions, religious bodies and political parties, to work assiduously in mobilising women to vote and be voted for, so their voices can be heard,” he said.

The winner of the debate, Miss Miracle Inyang, a second year law student of the University of Calabar, said she was happy to win while thanking GADA and partners for the opportunity.

While noting that her aspiration was to debate on bigger platforms as an advocate for gender equity and other issues, she called on the women to come out and participate in politics because freedom and power were not given but taken.

NAN reports that the contestants of the debate were drawn from the University of Calabar, University of Cross River (Unicross) and College of Health Technology, Calabar.

They were divided into four groups – team Margaret Ekpo, team Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, team Oby Ezekwesili and team Nkoyo Toyo. (NAN)