Speaking at the event, a lecturer, Mallam Aminu Ali of the Department of Sociology, Bayero University, Kano who presented a paper on the invisibility of young females in the arena of discourses on political exclusion in Nigeria society, noted that the subordination of women in every sphere of life maybe connected to the political discourse.
Speaking emphatically on theme, he noted that “Young women are conspicuously invisible in the discursive arena of youth political exclusion despite being double victims. From media to academia, to civil society, among other discursive spaces, female-youth political exclusion has not received satisfactory attention. The discourse on youth exclusion in politics is gendered and youth political participation is measured by the visibility of male youth.”
It was noted also that gender has remained a fundamental basis for exclusion in Nigeria’s malestream politics. Women, particularly young ones, have continued to face political exclusion and different forms of repression and subordination in politics and public life.
At the event, it was stated that the reasons for this are many and varied, ranging from “supposed apathy and disinterest in the voting process, to lack of opportunities for systematic inclusion in decision-making processes.”
There have been efforts by governments and multilateral agencies to promote females’ participation in politics through policies, affirmative action and advocacies. Plus, demand for increased political inclusion has been at the center stage of women’s struggles since the Universal Suffrage Movement in the 19th century.
Despite efforts aimed at engendering political inclusiveness through activism and policy interventions, females’ participation in politics to a large extent, remains insignificant.
Another concern was raised on the consciousness of the Female-youth who are said not to be conscious of their identity as double victims of political exclusion, not to talk of mobilizing or asserting it.
As a way forward from the dilemma, Mallam Aminu recommended some strategies to raise young women’s participation in the discursive space, politics and public life.
He emphasied the need for Countering stereotypes and prejudice against females and building their confidence to participate in political discourses through leadership training and political education programme.
Dialogues, symposia and political education class on female-youth participation in politics should be organized to, among other things, identify passionate young females, who should be mentored by veteran women activists and those in active politics, he noted.
He also recommended capacity building trainings on communication skills and organization building and networking need to be regularly organized for young females.
Structures for step-down training should be created, so that as many young females as possible would benefit from the skills and knowledge necessary for active participation in the discursive arena.
He harped on the need to leveraging the different social media platforms to mobilize and conscientize young females, build their capacity for collective action and building alliance and networks is very imperative
Commending CITAD for the initiative, Mrs Angela Odah of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation commended CITAD for organizing such fruitful discussion especially coming with ways forward on peculiar problems faced by women in politics in Nigeria.