News & Current Affairs

2023 Elections;  381 Women listed as candidates for Presidential & National Assembly elections - INEC

By Azeezat Okunlola | Sep 21, 2022

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 381 women will take to the polls in the 2023 general elections. 

The final list of candidates released by the electoral body on Tuesday lists 3,875 men and 381 women as those running for president and seats in the federal parliament, respectively.

On Tuesday, Festus Okoye, national commissioner and chairman of the electoral body's information and voter education committee, added that the final list of candidates for state elections (governorship and state seats) would be issued on October 4, 2022.

“We note the fact that not all the political parties conducted primaries in all the constituencies, submitted the particulars of candidates that emerged from valid primaries or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries within 14 days as provided in Section 33 of the Electoral Act,” Mr Okoye said.  “This has led to numerous litigation, some of which are ongoing. Where the commission was served with court orders by aggrieved aspirants or candidates before the publication of this list, these have been indicated under the remark column.”

This is in line with section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and was part of the "Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election".

In addition, Mr Okoye confirmed that all 18 political parties have nominated candidates and their deputy presidential candidates for the next presidential election.

“For legislative elections, 1,101 candidates are vying for 109 senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates for federal constituencies, i.e. House of Representatives seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting 469 legislative positions,” he stated. “In terms of gender distribution, 3,875 candidates are male, made up of 35 for presidential and vice-presidential election, 1,008 for the Senate and 2,832 for House of Representatives.”

Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Party (NNPP), Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), Kachikwu Dumebi of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and 12 others, along with their running mates, are among the presidential list of candidates legally nominated for national elections after party primaries and the required time for withdrawal and substitutions.

Three hundred eighty-one women are running for office on the INEC list; one for president, 92 for senator, and 288 for the House of Representatives.

The national average of women’s political participation in Nigeria stands at 6.7 per cent in elective and appointive positions, according to data from Gender Strategy Advancement International. 

This is far below the global average of 22.5 per cent, Africa's regional average of 23.4 per cent and the West African Sub Regional Average of 15 per cent.

The World Gender Gap report 2022 reveals that Nigeria ranks 123rd with a score of 0.639 out of 146 countries. The ranking on gender gap parity uses parameters like economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, political appointment and financial exclusion/wealth accumulation of the female gender in the world.

In March, Document Women covered protests at the National Assembly by Nigerian women over the refusal of lawmakers to grant women the right to confer citizenship on their non-Nigerian spouses and other anti-women policies and laws seen in the Nigerian constitution.

Out of 68 proposed amendments, five bills moved to promote opportunities for women in political parties, governance and society.

One bill sought to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of Nigerian women. Another sought to allocate 35 per cent of political positions based on appointment to women, and the third sought to create special seats for women in National and State Assemblies.

All five bills were opposed.