Men should consider stepping aside for women in politics, says Akpabio



Godswill Akpabio, the senate president, says sometimes men should consider stepping aside to enable women take front-row seats in politics.


Akpabio spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at an international conference on women in governance.


The conference was organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).


The senate president said the number of women in the upper legislative chamber is not encouraging.


 “Despite my desire to see more women elected to the national assembly as senators and representatives, I still feel that it is easier to get more women into appointive offices than into elective positions in our current political space,” he said.


“This is because the dynamics are different.


“This is why we must collectively push for a bargain with the male folk to sometimes step aside for women to engage in the political process.


 “For me, the number of women in the 10th senate is not encouraging and must be deliberately improved upon moving forward.


“There is the need, also, to raise awareness and challenge gender stereotypes by conducting public awareness campaigns to challenge gender stereotypes and promote the value of gender equality in governance.


“This is something this institute should do alongside fostering the development of supportive networks and alliances with women’s organisations, civil society groups and political activists to build solidarity and support for women in politics.”


Akpabio said there is need for collaborative efforts to change the narrative by encouraging more women to get involved in politics.

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