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Young women group decries sexual harassment in politics

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Young ladies who are actively involved in politics across the country, Friday, decried the high level of sexual harassment by men folk politicians in the course of pursuing their political career.

Gathering under the auspices of African Young Female Advisers Initiative (AYFAI) for a two day conference titled: “National Consultation on Young Women in Governance and Young Women with disabilities”, which began on Friday, they berated some politicians for taking advantage of politics for sexual harassment.

President of the group, and Special Adviser to the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council on ICT, Donor Agency and Civil Society, Abiodun Essiet, said the conference would focus on thematic issues bothering on the plight of young ladies in governance.

She revealed that their contributions would be transmitted to the Ad-hoc Committee on Constitutional Review of the National Assembly with a view to legally recognised young ladies.

“As you can see, they are young ladies all over elective and appointive offices. So we are here as young female advisers and young women in government with those with disability to review the 1999 constitution and make some of the amendments as it affects young females in government.

“We have members across Africa who are Special Advisers to Presidents. So we have come together as a group to say that we also want our voices to be heard and also review the 1999 constitution since the constitution is undergoing amendment.

“We want to make our review and make our own amendment and make our own memorandum which we will send to the committee at the National Assembly that is reviewing the constitution concurrently.

“We were able to do this through the support of Global Affairs Canada, and ActionAid who are the sponsors.

In her address, Secretary of the group and former AIT newscaster, Adaora Onyechere expressed optimism that more women would ascend to political offices in 2023, hence, there was need to begin discussion on the teething problems with a view to overcome them.

She said: “Some of us, will be governors; House of Representative members, some of us will be Senators. I see that here in this hall.

“The idea that women does not support each other, I think that to me, is the stereotype that continue to resonate which the men use to reduce the level of our capacity to be on top and I think it’s time for us to demystify that stereotype.

“I know that there are levels of difficulties in terms of communication and how those communications are received because we all come from different environment which you can’t take that away from us.

She urged women in Africa to unite in pursuit of political offices.

“Women are great asset when they come together. You cannot break it; its something you can feel it and there is a silent code. You walk into a room and immediately, they have assess you and so, depending on where we are coming from and to me, the goal should be collectiveness.

“The issue of where women are gossiping is everywhere, its in the banking sector, it’s in the business, even men are doing it differently. In fact their own is the worst. They do it and gossip about it.”

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