Former Nigerian minister and activist Obiageli Ezekwesili speaks in Abuja, Nigeria, February 4, 2019. Ezekwesili was the most well-known female candidate for president. She withdrew from the race in late January. (REUTERS/AFOLABI SOTUNDE)
February 14, 2019
Nigeria is Africa’s largest democracy but has one of the lowest percentages of female political representation on the continent. Women make up less than 6 percent of the country’s parliament, according to the International Parliamentary Union, and no Nigerian woman has ever been elected president, vice president or governor.
Women aspiring to become politicians often encounter a lack of support from a society that is conservative and patriarchal. Some have even experienced gender-based election harassment and violence.
Out of more than 70 candidates, six women ran for president this year. The most well-known female candidate, Oby Ezekwesili - a former education minister and Bring Back Our Girls campaign co-founder - withdrew from the race last month to support an opposition coalition.
What should be done to increase women's participation in government, and to what extent is gender equality an issue in this year’s election? In this episode, we’ll learn about the experiences of Nigerian women trying to make it in politics and hear their views on the country’s upcoming election.