Global Journal of Humanities

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Women's Quest For Political Authority In Nigeria: The Barriers

Edith Osiruemu


Women's quest for access to political authority is the focus of this paper. Demographic surveys put women as constituting 50 percent of the nation's population; 60-80 percent of its work force and 54 percent of eligible voters. Inspite of this numerical advantage and women's historical involvement in politics, they have been marginalized in political office holding. Yet the post Beijing clamour is not for representation but for active contribution in every sector of the economy. To achieve this, women have to be in positions of political influence and authority. It is in this light that this work examines women's quest for political power in Nigeria. It analyses factors inhibiting their inclusion in positions of authority. It posits that although, Nigeria signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1985; as well as some constitutional guarantee of political equality for the sexes, a wide gap exists between policy and implementation by governments as regards women political authority and influence. It identifies chauvinism, a modern variant of male practices in a patriarchal society as a major factor inhibiting women's realisation of political power. It also discusses methods women have adopted to surmount this barrier while suggesting ways which the aforementioned barrier and others could be addressed.
KEY WORDS: Women, Marginalisation, Political Authority, Decision making, Barrier.
Global Journal of Humanities Vol.3(1&2) 2004: 75-83
AJOL African Journals Online