By Justina Auta
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, says Nigerian women will only support twinning candidates contesting for elective positions in 2023 general elections.
Tallen said this at a news briefing on Tuesday to address reports of intimidation of female aspirants in their drive to secure political positions in the forthcoming election.
The minister explained that twinning, in this context, is the pairing of a male and female as the candidate and deputy at all levels of governance.
She said adoption of the twinning policy by political parties, would ensure equal representation of men and women, which would be in the best interest of all segments in the country.
She said the candidates would be made to sign a pact and negotiate better with all political parties, ahead of the general elections.
” I want to again make it clear that Nigerian Women can only support twinning at this time at all levels.They will sign a pact and negotiate better with all political parties ahead of time. For those who want to support the women’s cause, the time is now.
“We make up almost 50 per cent of the voting population, we constitute over 70 per cent of the voters who queue up in the rain, under the sun to support the candidates.Yet when they win, we are soon forgotten. Enough is enough,” she said.
According to her, the way forward is for a meaningful engagement, inclusion and participation of women at all levels.
She, therefore, encouraged women to support female candidature, adding that modalities for launching the Women Reconnect for a New Nigeria Initiative was on ground.
” We will be relying on the Media to help us spotlight this initiative as a wide advocacy platform for Nigeria Women.
” At this time, Gender Inclusion is our Agenda and on it we stand,” she said.
She, called on the media and other stakeholders to be steadfast in promoting the inclusion of the rights of women and children in the political agenda of candidates and their political parties.
She also stressed the need to stand against political violence and exploitation of women and the youth.
“At this moment, no women, no nation. The political party primaries are heating up at this time. Women are continuously being excluded and we are sad,”she said.
On her part, Ms Erika Godson, Deputy Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), encouraged women to support women to ensure gender equality in all areas.
Similarly, Hajiya Lami Lau, National President, National council for Women’s Societies (NCWS), reiterated the commitment of women groups nationwide to support women contesting for any political position. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)