The Affirmative Action and Women Participation in Politics in Nigeria: An Assessment Study on the Legal Constraint

  • Halimat Tope Akaje Kwara State University
  • Adelowo Stephen Asonibare Kwara State University
Keywords: Affirmative action, Legal constraint, Participation, Politics, Women


The participation of women in politics and decision making is one of the major issues that have dominated the world; this is because women constitute about fifty percentage of the world population. The importance of women participation in politics cannot be over-emphasised, considering the fact that women are mothers, social, cultural and political activists. In Nigeria, the affirmative action contained in the National Gender Policy is a strategic tool for enhancing women participation in politics. The policy has brought about tremendous increase in women participation in politics in Nigeria, as more women are willing to participate in both appointive and elective politics. However, the affirmative action is a mere action plan of the executive and falls under Chapter II (Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which makes it non-justiciable. So, where the government fails to abide by the affirmative action, the government cannot be compelled and such cannot be challenged in the law court (as currently being experienced in Nigeria). This paper seeks to discuss the relevance of the affirmative action to the participation of women in politics in Nigeria. The legal constraint to the enforcement of the policy is particularly identified and discussed, while imperative legal measures towards giving legal prominence to the policy are recommended.