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Women and politics

Despite the enormous achievement of the women’s movement in Nigeria, at the same time there exists constraints limiting its effectiveness. The lack of priority setting among activists in women’s organizations, which has given rise to a segregated women’s movement with different interests, is a major impetus for this study. Corruption in the country has also encouraged nepotism, mediocrity, and has led to conflict of interest within the movement. Although, even with little or no coordination, continuity, or sustainability, as well as no clear objectives, mission, or vision for some of the women’s organizations, Madunagu (2008) observed that their existence have been characterized nevertheless as ad hoc bodies, and are useful when the need arises. Financial support from international donors, which was a major source of funding for most women-based organizations in Nigeria has, in recent times since the 2008 global economic downturn, been suspended, posing a major threat to funding of their activities. These irregularities of getting grants, and sometimes the absence or shortage of funds, has been a major problem in carrying out programs contributing to the advancement of women’s causes in Nigeria. The lack of education and enlightenment toward a significant political orientation among women and a lack of understanding concerning the interpretation of interventions have led to problems in getting constitutions regarding women adopted and putting women’s issues on the agenda. It has not been easy getting people to accept the sermon of the women’s movement; most times people lack interest and there is difficulty in getting women commitment to forming a strong union or alliance. Even those women’s associations that have been formed are difficult in handling, as most times there is no confidence or trust in relating with each other in the movement. The lack of proper coordination among women’s groups and associations has been a threat to the effectiveness of the women’s movement in setting national gender policies in Nigeria. There are coalitions and networks among organizations in the movement but they do not function properly. Irregular meetings have been a major obstacle and this has also led to lack of documentation of NGOs activities within the movement.

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