Fifteen years after the return to democracy rule in 1999, no woman from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and 10 states has been elected into the House of Representatives.
A recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics also indicated that no woman held a seat in the Senate from 24 states between 1999 and 2007. The data showed that Bayelsa, Edo, Jigawa, Katsina, Kogi, Niger, Ogun, Sokoto, Taraba, Zamfara and the FCT have not produced female members of House of Representatives since 1999 to date. In 1999, out of the total of 360 seats in the House of Representatives, 348 seats were occupied by men while only 12 seats were occupied by women from the entire 36 states and the FCT. After the 2003 general elections, women were able to occupy more seats, totalling 22 and the number of seats increased to 25 after the 2007 elections.
Further analysis revealed that after the 2011 elections, the number of seats occupied by women at the lower chamber of the National Assembly went back to 22. Bauchi, Gombe, Imo, Kano, Kebbi and Nasarawa states have produced only one female member of the House of Representatives each since 1999. Similarly, the situation was not different in the Senate where men have held sway since the return of democracy in 1999.
The data indicated that no woman in the North-west Zone held a seat in the Senate between 1999 and the years preceding the 2011 parliamentary elections even as only Adamawa and Ogun states produced female senators from all the states in the North-east and South-west zones. In addition, no female senators emerged from Bayelsa, Rivers, Enugu, Ebonyi, Benue, Kogi and Plateau states within the period. Analysis showed that out of the 109 available seats in the Senate, men occupied 106 while women occupied only three in 1999 and same number was maintained after the 2003 elections.
It was after the 2007 parliamentary elections that women were able to hold nine seats in the Senate while men occupied 100 seats, the data showed. Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has recently launched a Gender Policy to promote gender equality in Nigerian politics.