2018 International Women’s Day Celebration

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The Women’s Research and Documentation Centre (WORDOC) on Thursday, 8 March marked the International Women’s Day with a roundtable at Lady Bank-Anthony Hall on Women’s Agenda for the 2019 General Elections. The theme of this roundtable was Pragmatic Inclusion in the #PressforProgress.

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The roundtable was chaired by Prof Olufunmilayo Oloruntimehin, a WORDOC founding fellow and Nigeria’s first female professor of criminology. Dr Morohunkola Thomas, Executive Assistant on Political Matters to the Oyo State Governor, gave the keynote address in which he mapped out the trajectory of women’s participation in politics in Nigeria. Observing that the colonial experience contributed to the relegation of women from the public arena, Dr Thomas argued that this situation was made worse after Independence. Nevertheless, he enthused about the remarkable progress that the women’s movement in Nigeria has made since 1999 in bringing women’s issues to the fore in the arena of political discourse, yet citing the need for women to mobilize much more effectively in order to secure elective positions for themselves for the purpose of dismantling the patriarchal nature of electoral politics in Nigeria. Dr Thomas emphasized the point that a change has to occur in the way people perceive women in politics.

Speakers at the roundtable came from a spectrum of formations in the Nigerian women’s movement. It was, indeed, a representative panel that brought together Hon Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Nigeria’s first female Majority Leader at the House of Representatives, Barrister Aderonke Adedayo, former adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Due Process, Mrs Tayo Agunbiade, a women’s right advocate and researcher at the National Assembly, Princess Olabisi Sangodoyin, National President of Women’s Association for Leadership and Governance (WALGOV), and Mary William of the Centre for Applied Ethics and Political Communication in Africa (CAEPOCOM Africa).

The audience was drawn from the university community and WORDOC’s network of relationship with grass-roots women from across Oyo State and the south-western region of Nigeria. The roundtable was organized as an interactive question-answer-commentary session anchored by popular radio broadcaster Mariam Adeola Gbadegbo (Mspyce of Splash FM).

The interaction considered strategies for bringing to fruition the Gender Equality Bill and the 35 Percent Affirmation Policy by electing women into political office whence they can mobilize to achieve these goals. The discussion also dwelled on getting women involved in politics at all levels, especially at the grass roots where governance issues are much more palpable in daily life. Experiences were shared on how to ensure effective politicking, alliance formation at the grass roots, the need to tackle violence and money politics, gender-liberating constitutional reform, and the need for women to insist on having their voices heard in political discourse on all available platforms of media.

A communiqué was adopted at the end of the roundtable on women’s resolve to press for progress by being included equally in the Nigerian political and electoral system.

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Anchor, Mariam Adeola Gbadebo, WORDOC 2018 International Women’s Day Roundtable, Lady Bank-Anthony Hall, IAS-UI

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Prof Olufunmilayo Oloruntimehin, Chair of the 2018 WORDOC IWD Roundtable

 
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Hon Mulikat Akande-Adeola speaking

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Princess Olabisi Sangodoyin speaking

 
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Barrister Aderonke Adebayo speaking

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Mrs Tayo Agunbiade speaking

 
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Mary William speaking

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A participant at the Roundtable

 
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Participant

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WORDOC 2018 International Women’s Day Roundtable, Lady Bank-Anthony, IAS-UI

 
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Participant

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