In a positive move cementing efforts to promote gender equality and women’s participation in leadership, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), a leading not-for-profit and non-governmental organization recently held a special fundraiser to support credible female candidates running in the 2023 elections. The fundraiser was held in collaboration with renowned author and women’s rights advocate, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Amina Oyagbola, Founder and Chairperson of WISCAR, emphasized the importance of the fundraiser in motivating action toward women’s inclusion in governance. She said, “In line with our mission of developing women to build a better nation, we understand the necessity of galvanizing action to accelerate women’s inclusion in governance and ensuring active female participation in all spheres of our nation. In the 2019 elections, we were disappointed by the decline of female representation in all strata of governance. As 2023 is a critical election year, we have taken this step to galvanize support and raise funds to boost the campaigns of credible female candidates across party lines running for various offices for the good of the nation.
We are non-partisan and non-political and are therefore not concerning ourselves with political parties. Our focus is on the viability of the candidates and equitable female representation. We must all agree that the solutions to our national questions lie in the hands of all of us. Our shared prosperity, the development and growth of our economy, and the welfare and progress of our people must be established and secured by all Nigerians. That is why the democratic ideal of all-inclusive governance must be promoted and given great importance.” She concluded.
The concept of the fundraiser was birthed at the recently concluded 2022 WISCAR Annual Leadership and Mentoring Conference in which Ms. Chimamanda Adichie gave the keynote speech as the Distinguished WISCAR Awardee. During the event themed “For the Nation, The Power of Inclusion”, she had the opportunity to discuss with female candidates and other members of the community on the urgent need to enable women’s political participation and accelerate women’s inclusion in governance.
Commenting on the fundraiser and its contribution to the development and growth of Nigeria, Chimamanda Adichie revealed, “The case for women candidates and political representation is not about women being better, but that women are full citizens. If we want a better democracy, we should also want better representation, as you cannot have half of the population severely underrepresented in governance. Role models are important because when we see what is possible, then we are more likely to think that it is doable. I believe in Nigeria so I am very happy to see that there are women who also believe and are working to make our nation better but this cannot be achieved without men. The advocacy for the inclusion of women cannot be actualized without the collaboration and participation of men. We all have an opportunity today and during the upcoming election to make a difference that counts.”
Some of the female candidates present at the fundraiser event include Hawwah Gambo, House of Representative candidate; Ireti Kingibe, Senatorial candidate; Adeola Azeez, House of Representatives candidate; Simi Olusola, State House of Assembly candidate; and Joyce Daniels, Local Government candidate. The organizers also recognized a Governorship candidate, Dr. Aishatu Binani, and a senatorial candidate, Dr. Idiat Adebule, in absentia.
WISCAR continues to call for donations to raise funds to support women and invites the larger Nigerian community to consider contributing to the cause via its website. An increase in women’s participation in governance will result in tangible gains for democracy, including greater responsiveness to citizens’ needs and welfare, increased cooperation across party and ethnic lines, and a more sustainable future for all.