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Reps Call For Women Inclusion In Ministerial Appointments

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The 35 percent affirmative action on women participation in governance has again been brought to the floor of the house of Representatives as members called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to consider including more women in his ministerial nominees.

The call followed the consideration of a motion titled “Need to Ensure Beijing Declaration on 35% Affirmative Action on Women’s Appointment into Positions”, moved by a member, Mr. Billy Osawaru.

Presenting the motion, Osawaru said that Nigeria as a member of the United Nations signed and ratified the several applicable international instruments, agreements and conventions without reservation, including the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 1995.

These instruments have always highlighted that member nations put in place all the necessary apparatuses needed to eliminate gender discriminations, ensure equality and human dignity to all, men and women.

“The National Gender Policy (NGP) has formulated a 35% Affirmative Action (AA) in Nigeria since 2006. This policy demands that 35% of women be involved in all governance processes.

“The NGP is recognized but is not practiced as expected thereby leaving our country behind many other African Countries like Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Namibia that have grown their women participation to over 40%, and many global reports do not speak good of our country in this regard.

“The 2022 World Gender Gap report revealed that Nigeria ranks 123rd out of a total of 146 countries while another 2022 report by the Gender Strategy Advancement International (GSAI), a nongovernmental organization, showed that Nigeria ranked 181 of 193 countries on the Gender Equality Index, for countries with low women representation in governance.

“In no time, our dear President, His Excellency Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who has being proactive since assuming office, will be appointing and inaugurating his cabinet to help pilot the affairs of the country.

“Nigerian women have continued to excel in Nigeria and other countries, serving in high-level positions in these countries and doing very well in the private sector but yet to be accorded this 35% status in Nigeria.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of 2015- 2019 and 2019-2023, the then President reneged on his promises to Nigerian women as he appointed only six women out of the 36 cabinet ministers, representing about 16 per cent.

“Despite the clamours for improvement in women participation in politics and other sectors across the globe, Nigeria seems to be going in a wrong direction since 1999 till date. Out of over 2,657 legislators (both Senate and Reps) only about 157 women have been inaugurated into the National Assembly”.

When put to voice vote, the motion got the support of the majority of the members and was therefore adopted.

Oduyemi Odumade, Edited By Grace Namiji
[13:34, 20/07/2023] Grace Madam: Reps Call For Women Inclusion In Ministerial Appointments

Written by: Kevin Nwabueze

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