Cecilia Ezeilo has said violence is one of the attributes that keeps women away from participating in politics.
Ezeilo made the statement during the inauguration of Women in Politics programme by members of Women Aid Collective in collaboration with the British Department for International Development in Enugu.
“Continuous political violence is the major hurdle faced by women in politics and this has been designed by their perpetrators to scare women away from politics.’’
She said such attitude undermined the right of women to participate in public life or get involved in governance.
“This present limited participation of women in political life is fundamentally an expression of their underprivileged situation in the society,’’ she said.
Ezeilo said that other challenges women faced in politics included cultural barriers, gender discrimination, gender based violence, the lack of financial capacity, among others.
She said there was a need for capacity building to enhance women’s skills and knowledge on how to effectively participate in political activities.
She said that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State had been gender friendly and had ensured mainstreaming of women in all spheres of life.
“Enugu State government has achieved 35 per cent gender inclusion in appointive and decision making positions, such as permanent secretaries and administrative posts in the civil service of the state.
“Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is seriously committed to upholding the principles of gender equality, justice, socio-economic and political inclusion,’’ Ezeilo said.
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Earlier, the Chairperson, Women Affairs Committee, Enugu State House of Assembly, Mrs Omeje Ogbu, advised women to participate in rural development activities.
Igwe Julius Nnaji, Traditional Ruler, Nike Community in Enugu, urged women to stand up for their rights and encourage their colleagues to measure up to be counted in political development in the state .