When Bolanle Aliyu decided to run for governor of Oyo State in southwestern Nigeria, even her husband was initially reluctant to support her.
Aliyu knew it was going to be tough once she entered the boisterous and sometimes violent world of Nigerian politics. She’d have to figure out how to fund her campaign and deal with corrupt party officials demanding bribes for everything from nomination forms to ensuring her rallies weren’t sabotaged. What complicates matters even more is that she’s a woman.
“I had to beg my husband to let me partake,” said Aliyu, 39, who trained as a social worker and runs an events and catering company. “The politics we all grew up to know is a dirty game.’’
Aliyu’s lack of support is typical for women running for office in Nigeria, which holds presidential and parliamentary elections on Feb. 16. Africa’s most populous democracy has the lowest proportion of female lawmakers on the continent, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an advocacy group that tallies representation. Just 6 percent of seats in the national parliament are held by women, compared to 23 percent in the U.S., rankingit number 181 out of 191 countries for which the Geneva-based group has data.
Click here to read the full article published by Bloomberg on 11 February 2019.