Factors Limiting Nomination of Women Candidates for Elections in Nigeria

J. Tochukwu Omenma, J. Chisolum Onu, Z. Onyinyechi Omenma


This paper interrogates constraints to women participation in elective politics from the point of party structure and organization mechanism. The paper is informed by the following statistic in Nigeria: in 2003 gubernatorial elections, 2 women candidates, (out of 72 Governors and Deputy Governors) were elected as deputy Governors. The results of 2011 elections show that only 7 women were elected as senators (out of 109) and 19 as members of the House of Representative (out of 360). This is a downward trend in comparison to 2007 elections when, 9 and 23 women were elected to the Senate and House of Representative, respectively. So far, not a single woman has been elected as Governor in Nigeria. Data sources consisted of governmental documents, party constitutions, oral interviews, data from non-governmental organizations such as European Election, Observation Mission (EU EOM), and observation of party meetings, conventions and congresses. Our findings show that lack of internal party democracy; which is as a result of private ownership of political party by godfathers (political notables); and weak executive committees are responsible for poor nomination of women candidates. Within this tight control of party organization by the godfathers, party members lost their democratic rights to participation in candidate nominations, and women group are the most disadvantaged. In as much as there are serious issues of lack of internal democracy, women condition will not likely improve in political participations.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n5p202

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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