March 8th 2018, was the kick off campaign #SheGoverns organized by Alliances for Africa .It was a campaign to commemorate the 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD). The campaign was initiated to identify strategies to integrate and mentor young women into political leadership. The campaign appropriately relates to the theme for 2018 International Women’s Day which was; Time is now! Press for Progress, as it was progress towards closing the gender gap in political leaderships. The campaign took place at Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo state and had all staff of Alliances for Africa and 72 young women from across various departments in the university in attendance.Past and present young women who have held political offices in the university also graced the event with their presence.
The #SheGoverns campaign was conceived out of Alliances for Africa’s on-going project with female politicians on the implementation of 35% Affirmative Action. The project identified the urgent need of closing the inter degeneration gap between the older generation and the younger generation if female politicians must be retained in the political process. And the goal of the program is to encourage the girls to channel their leadership skills into politics. Alliances for Africa (AfA) Programmes Manager; Mrs. Blessing Duru explained the need for young women’s active participation in Politics. According to her, the #SheGoverns mentorship Campaign is designed to reach young girls who are not often reached by other political groups, and to introduce the idea that political leadership is an attainable and exciting goal for young women to pursue. It is also a process to integrate young women in politics with the political will of addressing the under representation of women in political leadership and redress the country’s renowned problem of political leadership as we prepare for 2019 Election and beyond.
The #SheGoverns Campaign adopted a three partite model; “inspire, equip and inform” as a strategy for integrating young women into political leadership. Young women in attendance were inspired to believe that politics and governance improves the lives of people and communities. In coordinating the campaign, Alliances for Africa launched an online platform for mentoring these young women to attain political leadership.
The platform is hoped to equip young women with public leadership skills, increase their interest in registering as members of political parties, Build their capacity to register, contest and be voted for as female political candidates; Communication and Knowledge sharing with relevant information that will help in sharpening their potentials and inform them about politics. The online platform will promote networking and mentoring among young women, more also, capacity building and training. The online platform will deepen affirmative action
The #SheGoverns Campaign stands for: “You don’t have to be on the news to influence policy, get up and get involved in Nigerian political leadership. Let’s create the Nigeria we want with you young female leaders. You too can lead!”