A poll conducted in Nigeria has shown that Nigerian female politicians face significant discrimination, as a result of cultural and religious beliefs.
In the poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week of the International Women’s Day, respondents noted that women make ‘great’ leaders. However, respondents noted that there is gender inequality, whereby women have largely been overlooked in political representation. The North-East (97 percent) and the North-West (95 percent) zones accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians who think there is gender inequality in the country.
More findings from the poll revealed that majority of the respondents who think that there is gender inequality blamed it on cultural norms and religious beliefs (29 percent). Also, 17 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that gender inequality exists in Nigeria because women are perceived to be weak and lack the capacity to lead, considering them as subordinate to their male counterparts.
Contrarily, 9 percent of the respondents claimed that there is gender equality mainly because they perceive that a lot of women now participate in politics. However, it is still a far cry from the larger proportion (91 percent) who believe that women have little or insignificant political representation in the country.
The study underlines the need to address all existing forms of gender inequality in Nigeria and this underlines the need for a deliberate, sensitive, consistent and systematic approach of gender relations which should include gender mainstreaming in all aspects of life, the report observes.
Authors of the report further canvassed for the passing of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill (GEOB) by the legislative arm of the government, noting that women should not be excluded from contributing their opinions and participation in Nigeria’s democracy.