There is no bigger spectacle this year in Nigeria than the politics being played ahead of the 2023 polls. Some players are underrepresented or absent as politicians converge at the table, bringing their best skills, game, and strategy forward. How do we build a just and equitable society where other people’s voices are excluded or drowned out? This has prodded a new conversation, INCLUSION
Inclusion in politics is important because it ensures that all members of a society have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to have their voices heard. This is especially important in Nigeria, where there are many different ethnic and religious groups and a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. When people feel that their voices are being heard and their concerns are being addressed, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and ownership over the political process. This can reduce social tension and conflict and create a more peaceful and prosperous country.
Inclusion creates a sense of unity and common purpose within a society, allowing people from diverse backgrounds to come together and work towards a shared goal – ensuring an issue is not examined from only one narrow point of view. It also helps to promote fairness and justice, as it ensures that the needs and concerns of all members of society are taken into account in the decision-making process.
Women’s Inclusion in Politics
Women in Nigeria face significant challenges in terms of their inclusion in politics. Despite efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, women are often underrepresented in political leadership positions in Nigeria.
One major challenge for women in Nigerian politics is the issue of cultural and societal norms. In many parts of Nigeria, traditional gender roles often dictate that women should not be involved in politics or hold leadership positions. This can make it difficult for women to enter politics and lead to discrimination and barriers to advancement once they are interested.
Another challenge for women in Nigerian politics is the issue of access to resources and support. Many women do not have the same financial resources or networks as men, making it difficult for them to run for office or participate effectively in the political process. This can be particularly challenging in a country like Nigeria, where the cost of campaigning can be high and political parties often rely on financial resources to support their candidates.
Youth Inclusion in Politics.
There have been efforts to increase youth inclusion in Nigerian politics recently. In 2018, the Nigerian government passed the #NotToYoungToRun bill, which aimed to reduce the age of running for elective posts in Nigeria.
However, despite these efforts, youth inclusion in Nigerian politics remains a challenge. Many young people continue to feel that they are not represented in the political process and that their voices are not being heard. Additionally, there are often barriers to entry for young people seeking to get involved in politics, including a lack of resources and support and a culture that often values experience and seniority over youth and new ideas
There are several ways that individuals and organisations can promote inclusivity in Nigerian politics:
Encourage political parties to adopt inclusive policies: Political parties can adopt inclusive policies that aim to promote the participation of underrepresented groups in the political process.
Support organisations that promote inclusivity in politics: Many organisations in Nigeria work to promote inclusivity in politics and increase underrepresented groups’ participation. Supporting these organisations and their efforts can help to promote inclusivity in Nigerian politics.
Advocate for reform: Advocacy efforts, such as lobbying politicians and policymakers, can help to bring about changes to laws and policies that promote inclusivity in politics.
Encourage voter participation: Encouraging people from all walks of life to participate in the electoral process is vital to promoting inclusivity in Nigerian politics. This can be done through voter education campaigns and other efforts to increase voter turnout.