Uganda’s youngest Parliamentarian, 20 year old Proscovia Alengot and Mrs. Winihin Ayuli-Jemide at the House of Commons, UK.
A 2-day Conference of Women in Government and Politics has ended in London. The event aimed at encouraging more women to participate and excel in all aspects of government and politics in Africa was organized by The Winihin Jemide Series Nigeria, an umbrella organization that works to increase awareness in various causes for which its founder Mrs. Winihin Ayuli-Jemide has a passion.
The Conference which had as its theme, “Increasing the Numbers: Access and Progress,” was organized by the Winihin Jemide Series and supported by the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
The WIGP 2013 saw some of the most influential figures in government and politics from across the African Continent saw key-note speakers such as Malawi’s President Joyce Banda, Africa Union (AU), Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nic Cheeseman, Director, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Keith Vaz Mp, Member Of Parliament For Leicester East and Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dieziani Alison-Madueke.
Malawi’s President Joyce Banda in her goodwill message stated the need for more women to take front row sits in Government and Politics.
‘I believe this Conference is taking place at such a time where more women are needed than ever before in elected and appointed offices’. .
More than 50 invited delegates from several African countries were in attendance, with debates on what action should be taken to equip women with necessary tools to participate successfully in all aspects of politics and governance- essential to building and sustaining genuine democracy across the continent for future generations.
In her opening speech, Convener of the Event, Mrs. Winihin Ayuli-Jemide, President of The Winihin Jemide Series described the Women in Government and Politics Conference as one that was inspired by 20 year old Ugandan, Proscovia Alengot, the youngest parliamentarian in the World.
‘She is no longer 19, she’s now 20! I am also greatly inspired by the stories coming out of Africa, the stories in Rwanda, where women now lead in elected positions. Women who have come through a completely broken down political system, as a result of war, to rise up and take the reins and run for office. I am inspired by the stories that have come out of Nigeria, first, of women who have gone before me, and whose shoulders I stand, especially for their roles in advocacy. When I say this I think particularly of market women unions, the uneducated women who have crossed through Africa saying, yes it is time’.
She also expressed optimism that the Conference will set the stage for women’s increased involvement in Africa’s political arena with consideration given to succession planning and the next generation.