By Wisdom Olobayo
“Ever since I was a child when I saw a woman in need of help I tried to help her – like helping them to carry their loads or buying them something – and that’s why I wanted to be the female leader of our party.”
Let’s keep Ameer Sarkee’s statement aside first, why is there a “Women’s Wing” in politics?
Well, let me answer my own question. Women had fought (and are still fighting) tough for years to be treated as persons equal to men in every context that concerns human dignity, respect and status. So, inclusion became the solution. But it’s a lie; this version of “inclusion” is a hoax. At least, it mostly is.
Do you understand the picture where your parents are counting “big” money and you are crying and whining because they won’t let you join them, and then to make you stop crying and go away they give you a few currency notes of the least value? That! That’s the picture of inclusion!
“Only seven out of 109 senators and 22 of the 360 House of Representatives members in Nigeria are women. And only four out of 36 deputy governors currently are women” – Damilola Agbalajobi, 2021.
To add to this, the country has never had a female governor. So, what in fact, has been the contribution of the women’s political wing to the country at large?
“Maybe if we can sort them out with a little position, a little power, a little kingdom of their own, they’ll calm down”. Sounds like what has been speaking for decades. The creation of a women’s wing in politics probably started with the idea of representation, so that the voices of women could finally be heard. But what exactly is representation? Having a say but never ever having the opportunity to have the day? The idea of representation itself sets off an alarm that yells “minority!”.
And is that it? That society still subtly maintains that women are just not born to be leaders? That at the end of the day, women will never have rightful access to the the same rights, opportunities and social status as men?
The segregation we fight against shows for itself when there is a dichotomy not between men and women in a party i.e men’s wing and women’s wing, but between “regular party people who actually call the shots and make decisions” and the “women’s wing” that runs itself for itself. Women governing just women is not the peak concept feminism seeks to establish. What feminism seeks to make obtainable is that women are people, and are capable of governing everyone.
If we are still fighting to see egalitarianism as the norm in the layman’s society, how about in the so-called democratic space? Should it be a war there too? Maybe scrap the “women’s wing” in political parties, and let’s expose where the problem comes from. Expose the fact that equality is still a strange idea to the people we petition for change as Ameer Sarkee, a 27 year-old Honourable member of the APC, expresses below:
“Some people ask me why I am running for the post and my answer is that God created men to guide the affairs of women so it is not a bad thing for me to want to lead women especially given that I mean well for them.”