The chances of a woman making it to the 9th National Assembly in 2019 are slim as only 31 of them secured the tickets of the two leading parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the just concluded primaries of the parties.
Findings by Daily Trust revealed that there would be no improvement in their number in the 9th Assembly even if all the female candidates that won tickets on the platforms of APC and PDP were to win in the general elections.
At present, there are only seven female senators and 19 female House of Representatives members in the National Assembly.
The Senate has seats for 109 members, 3 for each of the 36 states of the federation and one for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Similarly, there are only 19 females at present in the House of Representatives which has 360 members.
Ahead of next year’s elections, 10 women had secured tickets to slug it with their male counterparts in the race for Senate while 21 had secured tickets to compete with their male counterparts for the House of Representatives.
In all, 19 states did not have any slot for women to go to the National Assembly on the platforms of APC and PDP. However the womenfolk have secured few tickets in other parties.
The states include Bauchi, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.
However, there were female contenders for the National Assembly in 18 states and the FCT with Lagos having the highest number of four of them contesting for the House of Representatives.
Three female contestants have secured tickets to the National Assembly in Abia, 2 in Adamawa, 1 in Akwa Ibom, 2 in Anambra, 1 in Benue, 2 in Borno, 1 in Cross River, 1 in Delta and 2 in Edo.
There is one female in Ekiti, 1 in Enugu, 3 in Gombe, 1 Kogi, 1 in Plateau, 3 in Rivers, 2 in Yobe and 1 in the FCT.
The female senators currently in the National Assembly are: Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti), Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos), Stella Oduah (APGA, Anambra), Rose Okoh (PDP, C/River), Fatima Raji-Razaki (APC, Ekiti), Binta Masi Garba (APC, Adamawa) and Monsurat Sunmonu (SDP, Oyo)
Female members in the House of Representatives are: Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and Nnenna Ukeje (PDP, Abia); Owoidighe Atai (PDP, Akwa-Ibom), Lynda Ikpeazu and Eucharia Azodo (PDP, Anambra), Sodaguno Omoni (PDP, Bayelsa), Asabe Bashir (APC, Borno), and Evelyn Oboro and Joan Mrakpor (PDP, Delta).
Others are Omosede Igbinedion (PDP, Edo), Binta Bello (PDP, Gombe), Aishatu Dukku (APC, Gombe), Rita Orji (PDP, Lagos) Ajeromi/Ifelodun, Ayo Omidiran (APC, Osun), Abiodun Adeola (APC, Oyo), Beni Lar (PDP, Plateau), Blessing Ibiba, Betty Apiafi and Boma Goodhead (PDP, PDP Rivers).
While of the legislators had secured tickets of their parties to vie for the seats again, others did not.
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has bemoaned the development, saying women deserved a better deal.
The Senior Communications Officer of the centre, Mr. Armsfree Ajanaku, told Daily Trust that the centre closely followed the primary process and saw that women candidates continued to face structural and cultural hurdles which inhibited their participation in the political process.
“This is a setback for women representation, but the good news is that women are not backing down. Our observation shows a lot of women politicians with ideas and vibrancy going back to the drawing board to start the push to get their voices heard,” he said.