Do you know that there are only 19 women in the House of Representatives? Yes, only 19 out of 360 members.
Only one, Binta Garba, the Deputy Minority Whip is among the principal officer while 14 out of the 19 female lawmakers in the House belong to the People’s Democratic Party while the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has the remaining five members.
Three members out of the PDP’s 14 will not be re-contesting for their seats after they moved up the ranks to get the Senate tickets.
The whole of the North West, (Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kebbi and Katsina States) cannot boast of a single female member in the House.
Kano alone has 24 members but none of them is female, while Lagos, also with 24 members, has only one female member, Rita Orji, in the House. And she is even in the opposition!
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We can thus say that Lagos is as guilty as Kano, though slightly.
There appears to be a remarkable regional contrast in the female representative in the North. For instance, only five of the 19 are from the north but even within the region, the North-East and North-Central have contributed three and two respectively.
The South-South is currently the most gender-sensitive region in Nigeria with eight, out of the 19, coming from the region.
Calling out states
Let us look at this analysis: both Lagos and Kano have 24 members each, making a total of 44 members, representing 12.2% of the entire House. However, there is just a single female lawmaker from the two states.
Kaduna State has 15 members in the House but none of them is a woman. States like Imo, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Eboyin, Enugu and Cross River have no single female representative.
All the states in the North-West, North-East (except for Borno and Gombe), and the states in North-Central (except Benue and Plateau) do not boast of a single female representative. (Kwara State had a female member but she passed on a few months ago).
If you think this situation is going to change, please think twice as there are indications that the status quo will not change soon if we are to go by those who have picked tickets for the 2019 elections.
It is worthy to note that only 21 women were able to pick tickets on the platforms of the two major political parties, APC and PDP, and this is no solid confidence that they will win at the polls.
Which means that even the 19 female members we now have could be a high number when the brass facts are revealed at the end of the elections in 2019.
The questions now are: what is responsible for this imbalance when it comes to women getting into elective positions? Does it mean that women do not have the capacity to lead? Why can’t other women vote for their gender?