The deputy governor made the assertion during the official launch of Women in Politics(WIP) Program held at Golden Royale Hotel by members of WACOL, a non-governmental organization in collaboration with DFID, noting that the problems women face in politics include cultural barriers, gender discrimination, gender based violence and lack of financial capacity, among others.
Ezeilo added that political violence was the major hurdle faced by women in politics and this, she noted, was intended to scare them and
undermine their right to participate in public life or get involved in governance.
“The limited participation of women in political life as has been observed is fundamentally an expression of their underprivileged
situation in the society” she noted.
She reiterated that women in Nigeria have constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of association which included the right to join
political parties, to vote and be voted for in an election, pointing out that there was need for capacity building to enhance women’s
skills and knowledge on how to effectively participate in political activities.
She strongly believed that if women got the deserved support from not just political gate keepers, but the society in general, they would
perform creditably well and demonstrate effective leadership.
Mrs. Ezeillo commended the governor of Enugu State who she described as a gender friendly leader that believes in gender accountability and mainstreaming of women in all spheres of life.
She informed that the state has achieved 35% rate of gender inclusion in certain appointive and decision making positions such as permanent
secretaries and other administrative posts in the civil service of Enugu State.
Earlier in her remarks, the Chairperson, Women Affairs Committee Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon Omeje Ogbu, expressed delight that
organizers had recognized the need to sensitize women on the importance of being in politics.
She advised the women to always participate in rural development activities and equally fraternize with everybody so that they would be
able to enlist support when the opportunity to serve calls.
Speaking on the occasion, His Royal Highness, Igwe Julius Nnaji, urged the women to stand up for their rights while encouraging their
colleagues to measure up to their reputation as transparent and reliable members of the society.
Also making their contributions, the pioneer chairman of APC in Enugu State, Mrs Joy Ebeh, Dr Ken Ike, Chairman APGA Enugu State and Jasper Veen, DFID Country Director, who was represented by the Programme Director National Democratic Institute, Mr. Raymond Esebagbon, all spoke in favor of women participation in politics. The programme is billed to be launched in the five States of the South East zone, aimed at encouraging women to be fully involved in politics.