The Emergence of Women in FUOYE Politics

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By Shukurah Junaid

In 2019, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom ranked Nigeria 181 out of 193 countries polled in terms of women’s participation in politics.

Some have said the under representation of women in political participation gained root due to the patriarchal practice inherent in our society, much of which was obvious from the pre-colonial era till date.

It is pertinent to note that this trend also cut across some of our tertiary institutions. Most women on campus are unwilling to participate in leadership positions at any level.

However, some women in the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti are showing keen interest in politics on campus. Popular among their reasons is that their participation in politics will help advance gender equality and affect both the range of policy issues that get considered and the types of solutions that are proposed.

In an exclusive interview, some of them shared their experiences, challenges and how they are taking the lead in their respective leadership positions with UCJ FUOYE reporter, Shukurah Junaid.

Interview with Taiwo Mary Alao

What is your name, department and level?

My name is Taiwo Mary Alao, a recent graduate from the department of Demography and Social Statistics.

As a woman, what inspired you to join politics?

Basically, what inspired me is the fact that most people that have been in politics are just male politicians and no females were going for those positions. So, I saw it as a motivation to step up and come into politics.

Also, most departments in FUOYE have males going for leadership positions, we hardly see women going for a positions. It is either they are scared of being in politics or scared that they would not have a say in decisions taken. Basically, that is one of the reasons I said I am going to be there and deal with this together.

What position did you hold while at school?

I was the former Vice President of Demography and Social Statistics.

What challenges did you face? How do you handle them?

I faced a lot of challenges as a leader, definitely one can’t satisfy human beings. As a leader, it is a position that you are being placed in and you just have to try your possible best to satisfy everyone.

The fact is that you cannot satisfy everybody, people were still expecting much. I had to balance everyone.

As a woman in politics, most times if you pour out your mind in a meeting, men may not see it the way women see things because of their ego. The egocentric part of them is that whatever they say should be accepted even if you suggest something worthwhile. Without being adamant and stubborn, your suggestions might not be accepted.

How did you combine politics with academics?

Actually, it was not easy because we had different meetings to attend and we made sure we satisfied students such as organizing tutorials for them.

Academics is the main reason for being in school, if you are not a student you can’t go for a political position on campus. So you have to maintain the status of being a student first before maintaining the status of being in politics or as a leader.

What is your opinion or message for other women with interest in politics?

One of the opinions I have is one of the greatest things I worked with. Never give up no matter how discouraged you are, do not give up on that dream or look down on yourself even if your counterpart is a male.

In this country, people see women as weaker vessels which is wrong. Women should focus on the reason why they vied for the post.

Interview with Asiat Ayobami Jimoh

What is your name, department and level?

My name is Asiat Ayobami Jimoh, a 400 level student of the department of English and Literary Studies.

As a woman, what inspired you to go into politics?

Before any other thing, I am creative. It can only take one (a creative person) to lead others (creative people). Our faculty is not just any, it is the home of creativity, it is Arts. The desire to put it on track was a major inspiration, more inspiration came from my friends.

What position do you hold presently?

I am the president of the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association (FASA), FUOYE chapter.

What challenges have you faced or you are facing in running the association?

Funds is a major challenge in the association. However, we hope to put measures in place that will help.

How do you combine politics with academics?

It wasn’t meant to be easy but difficulty does not imply impossibility. I hope to be a major partaker in many of the night classes we will be holding because I need it just as much. My friends are a constant reminder of my priorities, if and when it seems like I am being lackadaisical.

What is your opinion or message for other women that have interest in politics?

The meaning of Politics has lost its flavour. I would rather be referred to as a leader. So, for women who want to take on leadership positions, go ahead. You have to be courageous enough to dream it and be able to convince people to believe it. Men have 24 hours in a day, so do you.

Interview with Abisoye Elizabeth Adegoke

What is your name, department and level?

I am Abisoye Elizabeth Adegoke, from the department of Mass Communication. I am in 400 level.

As a woman, what inspired you to go for politics?

As a woman? Are u saying women should not naturally want to go into politics? Well, while I was in the polytechnic, I used to tell myself politics is not my thing. When I joined FUOYE as a direct entry student, I realised there is a need in my department. There are so many activities as far as the Mass Communication department is concerned but no one seemed bothered so I decided to go for the position that will help me to put those things in place. So far God has been helping me.

What position do you hold presently?

I am the president of the Mass Communication Students Association (MACOSA), Federal University Oye-Ekiti.

What challenges are you facing or have faced? How do you handle them?

I will not say there have not been challenges but God has been helping me. Because I believe in the power of proper and effective communication, I use this between my executives, my fellow students and the management. There has been mutual understanding so far.

How do you combine politics with academics?

Combining politics with academics is tasking. Since I started schooling in FUOYE, I never missed a class until recently. I missed classes this semester because I just had some attention seeking departmental needs and they were clashing with lecture time.

But then academics is my primary purpose for coming here so I try to make up for every missed class by copying my notes and asking questions. I also try to explain the reason for my absence to lecturers. The plan is not to go below the 4 point margin I have been building.

The truth is I saw this coming, I signed up for this the moment I took up the presidential form so I try to make up for every academic lapses by reading on my own in the middle of the night.

What is your message for other women that have interest in politics?

For every woman out there, I want to say please pick up the courage to be whoever you want to be regardless of what people say or whatever the society dictates. You are strong not fragile. Dominate!

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