From right to left: Representative of Borno state First Lady Hajiya Aisha Abdulrahman, Country Representative UN Women Ms. Beatrice Eyong, Director General Maryam Babangida National Center for Women Development Dr Asabe Bashir, IPAC Deputy Chairman Abdulkadir Fema, Women Activist Professor Patricia Donli and Director Women, Borno state Ministry for Women and Social Development Hajiya Falmata Gambo at the inauguration of Resource Centre for Women in Politics in Maiduguri

The United Nations UN Women in collaboration with Maryam Babangida Centre for Women Development have launched the first resource centre for the advancement of women in politics and governance in North East Nigeria. 

At a Ceremony in Maiduguri, Director General of Maryam Babangida Centre Dr. Asabe Bashir said the facility will be used to promote political engagements and mentorship for aspiring female politicians irrespective of poliical party affiliation. 

The low representation of women in politics has been a source of concern to many stakeholders in the country. 

According to United Nations, women representation in parliament across national and state levels stands at only 3.8 percent despite constituting about half of the nation’s population.

To address some of these challenges, the UN Women in collaboration with National Centre for Women Development launched the Advance Project to enhance leadership capacity of women in politics and provide support in running political campaigns. 

Director General Maryam Babangida Center for Women Development Dr. Asabe Bashir said the Maiduguri Resource Centre is the first to be launched in the North East and third in the country after that of Abuja and Cross River state.

She explained that the Centre will also serve as a hub that provide opportunity for female politicians to access information, counselling services and contacts that will enhance their productivity for effective participation in politics.

“We have been working separately at our own different levels which we have not seen results, that is why UN Women along with Maryam Babangida Center for Women Development have found it necessary to put a place like this where women can come and ask questions, share experiences, be encouraged and be taught ” Dr Bashir emphasized.

UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS Ms. Beatrice Eyong announced that the resource centres would be replicated in all the six geopolitical zones.

She reaffirm United Nations commitment to work with government and non-governmental organisations to change the narrative of low representation of women in politics by 2027.

First Lady of Borno state Dr Falmata Babagana Zulum represented by Hajiya Aisha Abdulrahman assured that the Centre will be maximally utilised and possibly replicated across the senatorial zones to enable rural women benefit. 

Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Women Affairs Alhaji Mohammed Hamza promised to work with all partners to ensure active participation of women in politics and governance. 

Highpoint of the occasion was the inauguration of the digitally equipped resource centre er by the Director General Maryam Babangida Center for Women Development Dr Asabe Bashir. 

Correspondent Dauda Iliya reports that UN Women also hosted the first quarterly quarterly coordination meeting for gender equality and women empowerment in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. 

Dauda Iliya