Nigeria has few women in politics: here’s why, and what to do about it

Case Study

May 10, 2021

Nigeria has few women in politics: here’s why, and what to do about it


 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the Nigerian Senate in 2015. There are very few women representatives. Sunday Aghaeze/AFP via Getty Images

There are few women in political and leadership spaces in Nigeria. Currently only seven out of 109 senators and 22 of the 360 House of Representatives members are women. Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, from The Conversation Africa, asked Damilola Agbalojobi, political scientist and gender specialist, to explain the lack of representation, why it matters and how to remedy it.

Why are women so poorly represented in leadership positions?

There are multiple factors. Some are related to the political party systems and structures. For instance, the high cost of politics prevents women from standing for positions. Often women don’t have enough money to pay for the mandatory expression of interest and nomination forms required by political parties to run for positions on their platforms. In addition, election campaign costs are exorbitant. So poor access to education means poor access to gainful employment. Unpaid labour burdensunequal inheritance rights and outright discrimination also mean that women are less likely to be able to afford to follow through the process of getting leadership position.

Click here to read the full article published by The Conversation on 3 May 2021.

Resource type: 
Damilola Agbalajobi
Laura Hood
The Conversation
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