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Opinion

Gender Disparity In Politics And Governance: Issues And Prospect

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Oluwakere

 

 

By Olowookere Hamidat

 

Gender is a socially constructed disparity of inequality of status between men and women.  Gender inequality comes in different shades. These include mortality inequality, basic facility inequality, special opportunity inequality, professional inequality, ownership inequality, household inequality, etc.

 

 

Today, the global concern is to advance equal opportunities for both men and women. That is the need for women and men to enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights, and obligations in all spheres of life. This happens when men and women are able to share equally in the distribution of power and influence; have equal opportunities enjoys equal access to education. However, in spite of the National Gender Policy developed towards addressing gender-related issues and concern to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, and the contributions of women in the election process, it has not yielded substantive results.

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Today women continue to be underrepresented in governments across the nation and face barriers that often make it difficult for them to exercise political power and assume leadership positions in public affairs..

 

Arguments for Women active participation in politics

  1. The first argument for women’s inclusion in building successful democracies is that women do not only constitute the majority in terms of population, In fact, half of the world’s population.

 

  1. Women’s equal participation with men in power and decision-making is part of their fundamental right to participate in political life and inclusive growth and sustainable development.

 

 

iii. The need for peace and sustainability. Without a substantial number of women in representation, there is little chance for women to have any distinct input in the shaping of the common good. As the saying goes, a democracy without women is just but half a democracy.

 

 

  1. Another argument is poverty affects women in often-disproportionate ways and will not be removed without women’s full participation as agents in the process.

 

  1. Furthermore, the welfare of children, for example, will not be improved without targeting women as critical agents of development.

 

  1. Moreover, women have been recognized as having an untapped pool of resources, whose skills should be made better use of.

 

  1. Women’s full and effective political participation is a matter of human rights, inclusive growth, and sustainable development.

 

vi.. The active participation of women, on equal terms with men, at all levels of decision-making and political involvement, is essential to the achievement of equality, sustainable development, peace, and democracy and the inclusion of their perspectives and experiences into the decision-making processes.

Constraints:

 

  1. The marginalization from the political sphere often is a result of persisting gender stereotyping of politics as exclusively as a men’s activity and the perception of politics as ‘dirty business.’ Facing these deeply held stereotypes and beliefs is not easy for most women.

 

  1. The disproportionate effect of poverty on women. Specifically, economic reasons, such as poorly paying jobs and limited access to large funds necessary for running successful campaigns put them in a disadvantaged position.

 

iii. Lack of political from the political parties who only think of how they can expand the power and win elections. Anything that does not give these is seen as impractical. It is within political parties that the marginalization of women’s rights, skills, and experiences has been most visible. This has jarred the confidence of women in their ability to participate in political processes.

 

  1. Related to the above is the presence or absence of regulation such as the national quota for women. The presence or absence of gender equality perspective in the internal statutes and the presence or absence supportive framework for promoting women dictates the levels of women’s participation. This is to say that the opinions of the party leadership on gender equality and the style of decision-making processes they apply have a huge impact, especially during the selection process.

 

  1. The few successful female politicians are seen as ‘un-feminine or perceived as ‘honorary men’. Thus women give up a chance of a political career very early on in the selection process, by losing the motivation to become a candidate.

 

  1. The expectations placed on women to maintain all family order, provide care of both children and the household, make political career excruciating. In some cases, a decision to take up the office might end up in a divorce, and only those women who are older and have grown-up children or those few who have supportive partners can afford a smoother political career. The stress and guilt indirectly make it difficult and prevents women from taking up a political career.

 

vii. The media coverage of female versus male political candidates has recently been cited as another barrier in breaking the glass ceiling for women in politics. News coverage of women candidates running for election is often covered in a negative, stereotypical, and often sexist way. For example, Some women are portrayed as sex objects while others are attacked for their lack of femininity in print, television, and social media.

 

Way out

 

To understand the reasons and the existing opportunities for change, we need to consider several issues more thoroughly.

 

  1. First, We need a good understanding of the barriers women face in a political system that prevents them from entering political-decision making in adequate numbers.

 

 

  1. Secondly, there is a need to understand the history of women’s involvement in politics alongside the structural and cultural factors that have led to their marginalization. Understanding these issues will shed some light on the available solutions, help evaluate current proposals for action, and suggest an alternative strategy.

 

Given the above, there is the need for implementation of regulatory policies or concrete legal changes to determining the position of women on the party lists and to affirm the all-inclusive women in government. That is proportional Representative for women’s political participation.

 

The government could reward parties that have a critical mass of women on the lists or at the top of the lists with extra funding, higher thresholds for external funding, or extra campaign time on public television.

 

The incentive would be another way to persuade political parties to change their gendered selection practices.

 

Government national gender offices, Non-Governmental organizations, and women groups can improve the position of women in political parties.

Need for pre-election coalitions of Women groups and elect/vote for women campaigns with the main aim of getting more women elected and  Elect/Vote for women campaigns, which is a significant step.

 

Positive media attention is changing public perception of women in politics for leaders of political parties to promote women among their candidates.

 

More grassroots pressure for women’s groups to be persuaded that they are capable of holding public office and that women have the potential to be successful politicians.

 

Conclusion

The success of gender equality and strategy in politics requires:

 

The need to help more women overcome their personal lack of self-belief, Provide more pressure on the level of political leadership in order to include adequate numbers of women on electoral lists in the places where it counts, and Persuading the voters to further change their perceptions of women politicians so that more women would actually get elected.

 

 

 

 

Olowookere Hamidat is a Mass Communication student of Bayero University Kano, born in Ilorin, Kwara State.

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Opinion

Hailing Sunusi Musa AS Senior Advocate Of Nigeria -EL -Hamza

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Barrister Sunusi Musa SAN

Musbahu- EL -Hamza

Remember when I tracked down and handed to the police a phone snatcher in Kano? I almost ended up behind bars!

So after writing my statement at the police station, two officers almost turned the table over on me, to allege that the phone snatcher could be innocent, while I was just trying to frame him.

They took me to an office and began interrogating me. That was after discovering I was a journalist and have since posted on Facebook to call on the attention of the owner of the phone who couldn’t follow us on foot as I chased the phone snatcher. Inside of me, they’ve succeeded in scaring me, but I acted otherwise.

I summoned the courage to ask them, “Sirs, am I under arrest, so I can get my lawyer?” I had no lawyer at that time. But then the conversation began to change, and they finally allowed me to go home after taking a photograph of my ID Card, and downloading the video I posted on Facebook. “In case he wouldn’t come back or decide to delete the video,” an inspector said.

They said tomorrow I will meet with the DPO, after which we might likely have to be taken to court. I agreed and took my leave.

I was trying to make my community better, but here I am about to be framed for a crime. I was terrified. But I believe Allah was watching. Could this be the reason why people will be seeing a wrong doing and do nothing to stop it? I asked myself lots of questions.

Just a few minutes after I left the station, my phone rang. It was Barrister Sunusi Musa. I couldn’t believe it. Why would he be calling me at that very time?

“How are you, Mallam Misbahu,” he asked. Alhamdulillah, Barrister.

I only met with Barrister Sunusi twice. But we speak on the phone very often. And he place the calls most of the time. This time, I waited to hear why he was calling.

“I saw your post on Facebook. I hope the police did not release the man.”

I sighed, then narrated everything to him that transpired at the station between myself and two police officers.

“What,” he exclaimed. By Allah I could sense his frustration. He then giggled. As if it’s something expected of the officers.

Barrister finally told me not to worry. “I am currently in Abuja, but hold on with the phone, let me call someone there in Kano for a conference call.”

He literally TASKED someone I can refer to as a high ranking lawyer in Kano to go with me to the station the following day and not only make sure nothing happened to me, but that that man must be taken to court to produce the other two people who ran away. He then told me to go back to the station and wait for the DPO to come back so I can speak with him directly, ‘and not his boys’ who could be funny sometimes.

Long story short, DPO uses all words of encouragement to commend me for what I did, and assured me that this is how they want the public to be helping them to secure Kano, “since we cannot do it alone”.

He told me to go home and not bother. I bragged that my lawyers are concerned about how his boys treated me. “You have nothing to worry about, young journalist. We will deal with it appropriately.” He praised me in the presence of those officers who were trying to prove I was wrong and might probably be taken to court for what I did.

I requested the DPO’s phone number, which Sunusi asked me to try and collect, but he declined. He joked that he wouldn’t even grant me an interview because he hates being in the news. “But you’re always welcome to my office. We are now friends,” he said. Whatever. I walked home ‘a free man’, slept with my two eyes closed.

You may remember that that evening, I posted on Facebook that if you do not have a lawyer, try and get one for yourself. It’s very important. If you cannot afford signing with them, befriend one. “e get why,” and now you know why!

I am ever grateful to have Barrister Sunusi Musa around. Just as I will never forget how those police officers treated me, I will never forget through who Allah saved me from them.

Today, Barrister Sunusi Musa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). We’ve been celebrating him since his name was shortlisted. He deserved it. Read all submissions on him, you cannot miss the line stating his humility and generosity.

Sir, we love you. And we appreciate you. We pray that Allah will continue to raise your rank in this life and the next. As He used you to wipe away my worry that day, may He grant you peace in this life and Akhira, amin.

Once again, congratulations from me and my family.

Misbahu El-Hamza is the publisher of citizens report and a member of the Editorial Board NIGERIAN TRACKER

 

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Opinion

Aisha Buhari: The Downtick Of Human Rights And The Uptick Of Human Wrongs 

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By Bala Ibrahim.

I am writing this article in pain, great pain, for reasons that have to do with my training and calling as a journalist, my conscience, or my moral sense of differentiating the right from the wrong, and how these values play a guide, in shaping my behaviour as a person. For the avoidance of any ambiguity, and in order to circumvent any misinterpretation on the position from where I am talking, I must make it clear that I am writing in my personal position as a Nigerian, a Human being, and one that believes in the ambition of the rule of law. Therefore, should this article offend anyone, please, I should be held personally responsible and completely accountable, because I am not speaking on behalf of anyone or any institution, but my humble self-YUSUF BALA IBRAHIM.

For sometimes now, the Nigerian news space is AGAIN filled with the unpalatable stories of the wilful misconduct of the First lady of our dear country, Hajiya Aisha Buhari. I used the word again in capital letters on purpose, to make the reader understand that unpleasant stories about the First lady are not just regular, but fast becoming commonplace, with the latest saying she has turned herself into a puncher, using the official residence of the President, as the ground to fight with her fists, for the simple reason of defamation. Yes, defamation, which the dictionary describes as, the action of damaging the good reputation of someone, slander or libel. A kind of character assassination.

I am not a lawyer, as such, I can not claim knowledge on the proper stands of the law with regards defamation, but I studied in English language, a segment of which was even in England, where I also worked. Hence, I can say with authority, that I know the ambition of the dictionary with regards the word defamation. I am also conversant with the meaning of right and wrong, as they apply in any civilized society- the intended destination, or dream of Nigeria.

A large segment of the press has reported on the latest misconduct of the First lady, but for reasons of consensus with their correctness in reportage, I would quote the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, which had an interview on the subject matter, and reported thus:

“An undergraduate of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Aminu Adamu, has been languishing in detention after security officials comprising the police and men of the Department of State Service, arrested him over a post on Twitter alleging that the wife of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, was feeding fat on poor people’s money. Aminu’s uncle, Shehu Azare, in an interview published by BBC Hausa on Monday, said the victim’s father, Mallam Ádámù, was not aware of his arrest until about five days later. Appealing to the First Lady to release Aminu, Azare said Aminu’s father was not aware of his son’s condition until one of his friends informed him.The uncle said, “His father did not know about his arrest. It was five days later that one of Mallam Ádámù’s friends called and told him that his son had not been seen in school for about five days. That was last Monday.Then a day after, Aminu called his father and told him what was happening, that he was arrested and taken to Aso Rock by the wife of the President, Muhammad Buhari, beaten, scolded and was arrested somewhere”.

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Arrested for days in an undisclosed location, beaten and scolded for alleged defamation? Good God! This is not the ambition of those who crafted our laws. When I asked a lawyer friend of mine, What is the punishment for libel in Nigeria? He said,

Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act states that “any person who publishes any defamatory matter is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year.” He also added, “any person who publishes any defamatory matter knowing it to be false is liable to imprisonment for two years”. He didn’t say the person should be abducted from his location, taken to another location for beating, scolding, or endless detention.

Another lawyer argued differently, saying the person will not go to jail. It is a “tort” or civil wrong. This means that if a person/organization makes defamatory statements, the person affected may seek compensation for their damages as a result of the defamation, through a personal injury lawsuit. No mention is made that the person should be abducted from his location, taken to another location for beating, scolding, or endless detention.

For God’s sake, from where is Aisha Buhari drawing her powers? I am happy to hear that God had since came to the rescue, as she is said to be on admission with a fractured leg, occasioned by the drama of wilfully taking the law into her hands. In the history of Nigeria, no First lady had disrespected the position of the First lady as Aisha Buhari, who seems to be doing it with reckless abandon.

Our memories are still fresh of a similar misguided treatment she gave to Mallam Mamman Daura, the nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, a businessman and retired civil servant of repute. History has recorded Mallam Mamman Daura as a prominent member of the old Kaduna Mafia, that comprised a group of Nigerian servants with interest in the interest of the north, including those who helped in raising Aisha to her level today.

I don’t know how conversant Aisha is with History and current affairs, but she needs to be reminded of the saying of Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Indian politician and president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, former Chief Minister of Bihar, former Railway Minister of India, and former Member of Parliament, that, in DEMOCRACY, POWER IS NOT PERMANENT.

If she doubts Mr. Prasad, she may wish to ask Madame Patience Jonathan, her immediate predecessor and the most abused and disparaged First lady of Nigeria. Yet, she kept to the meaning of that adjective, patient. By tolerating the insults without becoming annoyed, or turning herself into an Aisha, the puncher.

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Opinion

Reviving the lost glory of Science Colleges: KASSOSA Agenda

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Entrance Dawakin Kudu Science

 

Umar Idris Shuaibu

The then Kano State Government enacted a law in 1977 and the same law was amended in 1978, to establish Science Secondary Schools Management Board.

The Objective of establishing the Board is to produce Secondary School graduates that can qualify for admission into tertiary institutions, with the sole aim of producing medical Doctors, Engineers, Technicians, Scientists, Teachers, and other professionals in different places of expertise that will sufficiently serve the state and beyond.

Initially, the Board established two Science Schools one at Dawakin Kudu and the other at Dawakin Tofa.

These schools are strategically located close to Kano metropolitan for easy access to the city by the teachers who are envisaged to be recruited from overseas and equally for their Nigerian and African counterparts of similar backgrounds.

As earlier mentioned, the then government demonstrated its determination by providing class structures, teachers, instructional materials, of course, a student enrolled on merit and fed with food, that many cannot afford to boast of in their houses.

This arrangement has over the years justified the government investment with the graduates of these schools being everywhere in Kano and Jigawa and beyond in various fields of human life.

But the current status of these schools with additional after the first two is in dilapidated condition due to the lack of maintenance from the recent governments.

But the bitter truth is, one does expect the school environment to be the same even with routine maintenance.

The situation now is so pathetic with almost more than two percent current student population of 423 compared with the 162 initially admitted for the 1977/1978 session, especially with no corresponding improvement in infrastructure, furniture, hostels, classes, and toilets.

This results in congestion in classes, laboratories, and hostels, and dilapidated conditions of the dining hall.

But the notion that government alone cannot shoulder the responsibilities and problems of these Science Colleges, is why the umbrella body of the Kano Old Science Schools Students Association, popularly known as KASSOSA intervene in so many areas with a view to improving the existing situation.

One must appreciate the training given to them as they are now paying back what the government invested in them.

Currently, the school records indicated several interventions by the members of KASSOSA not only in the first two schools but for the entire science schools in Kano and Jigawa.

Reports say that from 2009 to date, 21 out of the 41 class chapters have intervened in the schools 16 times.

The interventions, however, cover the construction of hostels, and toilets, renovation of various infrastructure, and donations of teaching aides, drugs, and computers among others.

This effort by KASSOSA members made the condition of the schools far better compared to others with no such interventions.

Last year, many witnessed a fundraising event organized by the KASSOSA National Body, where they targeted N950, with a vision to rescue the Science Schools in Kano and Jigawa.

They are lucky to raise over forty million Naira from donations and pledges made by the members of the Association.

The report says part of this raised amount will be used to build the association secretariat and renovations of the schools.

And in Science College Dawakin Kudu, the class 1981 chapter of the institution single-handedly sponsored the renovation of two laboratories (Biology and Chemistry).

One must appreciate how the alma mater association of KASSOSA put heads together in ensuring their schools are in better condition.

Hope they continue due to the various competing demands on shrinking government incomes, which more hands are needed to ensure the sustenance of the schools due to the role they are playing in Kano, Jigawa, and the country at large.

 

With such effort by any alma mater association, I’m sure the lost glory will be restored.

Long live Kano State, Science Colleges, and long live Nigeria.

Umar Idris Shuaibu is a Digital Journalist, who writes from Kano.

shuaibuumaridris@gmail.com
08066616097

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