n Journal of African Elections - Gender politics and the 2011 elections

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



This paper provides an analysis of the results of the 2011 elections by gender and offers an explanation for the trends noted. It observes that since the 2011 elections there has been a slight fall in the number of women in elected positions. Nigeria is still a long way from meeting the international standard of 35% representation for women. Factors accounting for the situation include structural issues of religion and culture, women's lack of access to funds, godfatherism in the political parties and the undemocratic disposition of party leaders, political and electoral violence and vote buying. Arguing that increased participation of women will improve the quality of decision-making by enriching the harvest of ideas to inform policy, it maintains that the poor participation of women in politics casts doubts on Nigeria's democratic credentials. Democracy relies on the principles of liberty, equality and full participation of all citizens in government activities. The 2011 election results show that the needs and interests of women will remain peripheral and that the presence of a critical mass of women in decision-making processes and leadership positions will be achieved only in the long run.

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