Hafsat Yusuf Paki, a graduate of cooperative economics and management from kaduna polytechnic picked up the interest in politics after she got divorced from her husband. Hafsat said her friend did a poster for her as a means of encouragement after knowing her interest in politics. She said the poster was seen by the people of Paki in the local government of Ikara in kaduna state and it sparked something within the Paki citizens and the hole town wanted her to contest for the chancellor of Paki ward.
The lack of women in politics has set back in economic development especially in a developing country like Nigeria.
Women account for almost 50 percent of the Nigerian population, however, only 6 percent of federal legislative positions are occupied by women. Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%) in Nigeria was 3.38 as of 2019. Its highest value over the past 19 years was 7.00 in 2010, while its lowest value was 3.38 in 2019.
A study conducted on the Role of Women Group in Women Political Participation, and Economic Development in Nigeria indicate that women’s groups do not have political agenda; mostly, their goals do not align with any political agenda, although their members accept appointments, and also enjoy government patronage.
There is an under-representation of women in decision-making in government and gender inequality in parliament is still underestimated. The stereotype that women are kind, cool and compassionate which are not attributes of a leader who is supposed to be strong, fierce, tough and take charge which are the attributes associated with a man. This dangerous stereotyping which are shaped by the society continues to make a woman seen as incompetent for her to pursue a political career.
Hafsat on Talk To DPH NEWS said the complains and discouragement from her family members was one of the challenges she faced, all they wanted her to do is to get married considering she was purely Hausa, she didn’t blamed them. Secondly the organisations, they all think any woman that is into politics lacks home training, alll of them will be asking you out for the sole purpose to just sleep with you.
Hafsat Yusuf Paki is now forced to put on hold her political ambitious because of how the society have successful define what a women can and can’t do. Hafsat now thinks she’s too young for politics but she will definitely try again in the future.
“I believe with women participation in politics, Nigeria will move forward as a whole because women have hearts of leadership in them considering how she leads her kids with or without their fathers support”. This are the words exact works of Hafsat Yusuf Paki, a young woman who was courages enough to stand up against stereotyping.