MDGs AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN NIGERIAN POLITICS
Nigeria is a state that is yet to harness the full potential of all the segments of its vast population. One of the most untapped human resources in Nigeria today is women. This is despite the various measures that have been taken put by both government and non-governmental institutions and organizations. The United Nations in the year 2000 came up with Millennium Declaration which seeks to promote principles of human dignity, equality and equity. The goals place human well-being and poverty reduction at the center of global development objectives with the goal three at the heart of actualizing all other goals. The goal-3 emphasizes promotion of gender equality and women empowerment. The targets of its achievement include the equality or balance of proportion of seats held by women in national parliament against that of men. Although Nigeria is one of the 185 United Nations member states that signed the Millennium Declaration, significant progress does not seem to have been made in the achievement of the goal in five years time which is 2015. Women are grossly underrepresented in Nigerian politics. The percentage of women is in the National Assembly is still not yet up to 9%. The poor economic foundation of women hinders women’s participation in the National Assembly. Lack of education impedes women’s participation in politic as seen in the National Assembly. It denies women high class employment opportunities which would make them economically buoyant. Given the prevalent situation, this research set out to asses the extent of women’s representation in the National Assembly in achievement of the Millennium Development Goal-3 by the year 2015.
Gender inequality in political participation has been a feature of most nations and Nigeria is not exception. Politics remains largely, male dominated in Nigeria and this excludes the over whelming majority of women who constitute about half of the countries population.
Despite the significant leadership roles played by women in Nigerian communities and informal organizations, before and after independence, their representation in public offices remains relatively lower than that of men. This is as a result of some certain factors. In Nigeria, one of the aspects of politics in which gender inequality manifests is the representation in the Parliament, which is also known as the National Assembly.
However, in all societies, women bear the major responsibility for child rearing and all the basic house chores. Whatever the family structure may be, women spend much more time at home than the men. Yet their household skills, contributions to the planning and management of homes and the crucial roles in childcare are not recognized and these abilities do not seem to qualify the women as shareholders of power through decision making for the society. This has resulted in the massive erosion of political power.
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