United Nations inaugurates women centre in Maiduguri

The underrepresentation of women in the political sphere has raised concerns among various stakeholders within the country.

The United Nations reported that merely 3.8% of women hold seats in both national and state parliaments, despite constituting approximately half of the nation’s population.

To confront these challenge, the United Nations (UN) Women, in partnership with the Maryam Babangida Centre for Women’s Development, has inaugurated a Resource Centre for the Advancement of Women in Politics and Governance in North East Nigeria.

During a ceremony held in Maiduguri, Dr Asabe Bashir, the Director General of the Maryam Babangida Centre, highlighted the Centre’s purpose of fostering political participation and mentorship for aspiring female politicians, regardless of party affiliation.

Dr Bashir said the Maiduguri Resource Centre was a pioneering establishment in the North East region, marking the third of such centre nationwide after Abuja and Cross River State.

She elaborated that the Centre would serve as a dynamic hub, offering female politicians the opportunity to access information, counselling services, and valuable contacts that would amplify their effectiveness in political engagement.

“In the past, our efforts at various levels have yielded limited results. This is precisely why the collaborative efforts of UN Women and the Maryam Babangida Centre for Women’s Development have culminated in the establishment of a platform like this – a place where women can seek guidance, exchange experiences, draw inspiration, and receive education,” Dr. Bashir explained further.

Ms. Beatrice Eyong, the UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, revealed that plans were underway to replicate these Resource Centres across all six geopolitical zones.

Ms. Eyong reaffirmed the United Nations’ dedication to collaborating with governmental and non-governmental bodies to transform the landscape of women’s representation in politics before the year 2027.

Hajiya Aisha Abdulrahman, who represented the wife of the Borno State governor, Dr Falmata Babagana Zulum, promised that the Centre would be utilised to its fullest potential and could potentially be replicated across various senatorial zones, thereby extending its benefits to rural women.

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