Women representation in the 2022 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is abysmally low, with female candidacy at 8.87 percent, Yiaga Africa said in a new report.

In the report, Factsheet on Youth and Women Candidacy in the 2022 FCT Area Council Elections, Yiaga Africa also said 47.9 percent of of all the candidates contesting for seats are young people.

Local government elections are scheduled to hold on 12 February, 2022, across the six area councils that make up Nigeria’s capital, with six chairmen and 62 councillors expected to emerge at the end of the electoral process.

The report revealed that the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), with 70 youth candidates, has the highest number of youth candidates in the 2022 FCT Area Council elections.

Among the political parties, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) with 39 has the highest number of youth candidates, while the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) with ten has the highest number of women candidates.

‘The observable trends in the participation of youth and female candidates in the 2022 FCT local council elections are in two broad segments. The first one is on youth participation in the chairmanship and councillorship election, while the second is on the participation of women in the Chairmanship and Councillorship elections’, the report read.

‘In total, 227 youth candidates, representing 47.9 [percent] of all the candidates, are contesting for seats in the 2022 FCT Area Council Elections.

‘A gender analysis of youth candidates in the councillorship election for the 2022 FCT local council elections reveals that 91.1 [percent] of the youth candidates are male. This figure is indicative of the very low representation of the female gender in the elections. Only 8.87 [percent] of youth candidates for the councillorship election are female.

‘Also significant is that majority of the female youth candidates are in the age group of 30–34 years’.

The nonprofit identified poverty, multi-dimensional discrimination, unemployment, barriers to education and limited opportunities as some of the challenges facing young people in political participation.

According to a report by the Knowledge, Evidence, Learning for Development (K4D), Nigeria has low rates of female representation in politics by global and regional standards.

K4D also identified corrupt and patronage-based political system, violence at elections, including against women candidates, as challenges that impede youth and female participation in politics.

Yiaga Africa recently launched the ‘Run To Win’ project designed to support young women and men with capacity and character to contest and win elections in the country.

Nigeria’s population is young and fast-growing as nearly 70 percent is below the age of 35, according to the United Nations 2019 World Population Prospect.

Yiaga Africa stated that the under-representation of young people and women in government and democratic processes remains a threat to democratic sustainability.

Source: Yiaga Africa

Photo source: Rhealyz Naija

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