UNESCO seeks more women in elective and appointive leadership positions

As the 2015 general elections approach in Nigeria and in continuation of its support to the electoral process, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Abuja Regional Office, has called for more women in elective and appointive leadership positions in Nigeria.UNESCO_SW_TOT (134)
Speaking at the training of trainers workshop on ‘Gender and Transformative Leadership in Nigeria’, the Director, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, Prof Hassana Alidou, noted that ‘Lack of women’s leadership is not only in itself a sign of inequality, but it tends to perpetuate unequal gender relations through a lack of role models for young women, and through the absence of women’s voice and input into the decision-making processes.’
According to the Director, who was represented by a UNESCO National Programme Officer, Dr Safiya Muhammad, ‘in the 2007 elections, some 516 women sought political office in elective positions at various levels, while in 2011 more than 900 women contested for elections into the various offices, an increase of about 78%.’ ???????????????????????????????
She added that even with such increase, the percentage of women currently in political offices in Nigeria is estimated to be 8%, an indicator of the high levels of exclusion faced by women in the political arena.
The training, aimed to equip women who intend to go into leadership positions whether appointive or elective, was initiated by UNESCO and Rutgers University in the US ; funded by the European Union (EU), UK AID, the Canada Government and UNDP through the Democratic Governance and Development project; and supported by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Other university partners on the project include : Rutgers’ Center for Women’s Global Leadership and Africa (Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA), the Center for Genders Studies and Advocacy (University of Ghana), University of the Gambia, University of Ghana, The Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria) and Tubmann University in Liberia.