BBYDI Launches SpaceForHer Fellowship
By Kaosara Olayemi Oladimeji
Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), a renowned civil society group, on Saturday launched the SpaceForHer fellowship program in Kwara state to boost women’s participation in politics and governance.
SpaceForHer is an all-inclusive project of the BrainBuilders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) that aims to increase the participation of Nigerian women in political leadership and governance.
Tolulope Theresa Gbenro, the project lead said the program would provide a safe environment for women to take on leadership roles in Nigeria and BREAK THE BIAS.
Gbenro said the SpaceForHer programme is a 6-week intensive legislative and leadership development fellowship, specially designed for Nigerian women who are ready to kick-start their careers in politics.
According to her, “We are set to counter cultural restrictions against women going into politics,” optimising that the “Three-week structured residency fellowship where selected fellows will be trained on several political topics and also engage with stakeholders.”
She added that the fellowship would offers “An opportunity to participate as observers in the state assembly and also interact with House members.”
“Access to virtual learning sessions, seminars, and a chance to network with lawmakers in Nigeria and across the world.”
“A shared platform where you can interact with other fellows and stakeholders even after the program.”
“This opportunity has provision for only 20 fellows and it is open to women in Kwara between the ages of 25 and 45 years.”
Highlighting the statistics of women in Nigeria’s political space, Gbenro stressed that gender inclusion in the space has been very low despite women population and how much they vote during elections.
“You will all agree with me that, having enjoyed more than two decades of democratic rule, Nigeria has come a long way in its democratic journey and we hope that it will, going forward, take the issue of gender inclusion/women participation in politics and governance seriously, both at the national, state and local levels. We are therefore proposing that:
“Political parties should encourage and give room for active participation of women, rather than using them for campaigns only.
“The 35% slot should be approved and used at the level of government for both political and appointive offices.
There is a need for the creation of a safe and enabling environment that allows women to engage meaningfully in decision-making and take part in high-profile activities.
The cost for forms of interest should be largely subsidized for female aspirants in all political parties and the Nigerian government should sign into law for the position of the state deputy governor to be automatically reserved for women,” she said.
She, therefore, call on the National Assembly to reconsider all the gender bills that were rejected by the lawmakers during the voting on constitutional amendment on March 1, 2022.
Earlier, the organisation’s Executive Director, Olasupo Abideen revealed that BBYDI has also unveiled documents on Asessment of Women in Elective Position in Kwara, Reason for Voter Apathy in Nigeria and Voters Education Manual.
He, therefore, appreciated Global Youth Mobilisation for the support towards the success of the projects.