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Nigerian women fight for a place in politics

African Democratic Congress candidate Juliet Isi Ikhayere   -  
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Nigeria is Africa's most populous democracy but has among the lowest number of women in office in the world.

Since 2019 that the number of women seeking positions in local and national elections has also fallen. 

Some, however, are determined to change that. Juliet Isi Ikhayere is a 28-year-old lawyer now running for the House of Representatives in the Federal Capital Territory.

"For me, the challenges have been in terms of finance, we also have the challenges of some women will actually say, why woman? Do you think you can run? But the thing is that even in as much we continue to encourage them that it is not about gender, it's about the ability to be able to serve and being able to think, governance is about being able to think and relate to people.
The other challenge is about some harassment, some will want to harass you when you come to the public space but we’ve been able to use good words and diplomacy to level all these", said Juliet Isi Ikhayere, lawyer and candidate with African Democratic Congress (ADC).

Only one woman, Princess Chichi Ojei, is running for the presidency, although her score against 17 male rivals is expected to be minor particularly when compared to those of the three leading candidates for the upcoming general elections.

"The honest truth is that Nigeria is still trying to develop a real political ideology and structures. But the African Democratic Congress is a party that encourages young people like me, women, and people with disabilities to vie for office and encourage others, that is the kind of mindset we are propagating out here on the street", concluded the candidate. 

Nigerians will pick a candidate to replace president Muhammadu Buhari on February 25th. 

The main contenders for the presidency are Bola Tinubu, 70, of the governing All Progressives Congress; Atiku Abubakar, 76, of the Peoples Democratic Party, the main opposition group; and Peter Obi, the 61-year-old outsider candidate from the Labour Party.

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