Women generally are often excluded or overlooked in virtually in every faceted of lives. In fact, weather our religious believes, culture or social norms relegated them to the back seat in terms of responsibilities and leadership.
Civic performance is typically regarded as a space for men and men alone, while women are often disadvantaged in accumulating experience to be in position of leadership.
For instance, gender roles of men as owners of property, decision makers and heads of household are socially, historically and culturally constructed and these should have nothing to do with biological differences.
But, young ladies and women are systematically marginalized because of general gender biasness and discrimination in this part of the world, coupled with limited opportunities and projected lack of exposure and involvement.
This act negates the rule of democracy has been postulated by Larry Diamond (1989: xvi). Taking the conceptualisation of democracy by Larry Diamond into cognizance, democracy provides the equal opportunity platform for political participation and fairness in such competition, thus: a system of government that meets three essential conditions: meaningful and extensive competition among individuals and groups, especially political parties, for all effective positions of government power, at regular intervals and excluding the use of force; a highly inclusive level of political participation in the selection of leaders and policies, at least through regular and fair election, such that no major (adult) social group is excluded; and a level of civil and political liberties, freedom to form and join organizations sufficient to ensure the integrity of political competition and participation.
Women are essentially a disadvantaged group in the society. It is almost obvious to remark about their lack of significant representation in important societal process. This disadvantage is so permeating that the international system, especially the United Nations organization specially seeks to address the problem.
This necessitated the series of international workshops and seminars on women and their concerns. Of importance is the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 to circulate the issue of concern to women and seek a way to significantly involve them in societal processes such as governance, and also seek ways to reduce their oppression.
The meeting recognized the need for the empowerment of women, and equality amongst men and women as prerequisite for achieving political, social, economic, cultural and environmental security among all people of the world (United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development).
Despite all these, women are still greatly underrepresented and oppressed in many spheres of life including politics in relation to their male counterpart, although, there is no convincing proof that men are more naturally endowed than women.
Women are supposed to complement men in the administration of affairs of the society and not to compete with them. Contrary to this, evidence abounds of the inherent differences between men and women which go beyond the anatomy and penetrate the essence, manifesting in divergent expressions.
This in turn leads to a diversity of strengths which are meant to stand in complement to each other to create balance. As a result of the divergent expression and desire inherent in human beings, women are therefore supposed to take part in the decision making process so as to air their views on issues concerning them.
Women will most effectually compete with men for political positions. This has been so entrenched in the societal practices especially of developing ones that women are ruled out from posts which are seen as the exclusive preserve of men. This deep-rooted oppression is so much that the growing attention accorded it by international organizations has not been able to extricate it. Rather the new attitude of treating men and women as equals has permeated very few hearts and corridor of power resulting in some noticeable changes in the way women are treated without however seriously effecting a fundamental change in the old attitudes and habits.
In spite of various efforts, the quest for gender equity must therefore seek to highlight the balance in the diverse strengths and foster appropriate recognition and respect for each other.
It is believed that increased political participation of women will strongly benefits the society as a whole and that their presence in decision-making positions will massively benefits all citizens and not just youth.
Therefore, to make this submission a reality, IEYAN as deem it fit and necessary to organize a National Women Summit in order to plan for all inclusive democracy and better future where women are train to become involved and be leaders in all fronts.