Ninth Assembly Women in Parliament have urged the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to ensure that the court ruling granting women 35 per cent affirmative action was implemented.
Rep. Oluga Taiwo, Chairperson, House Committee on Women in Parliament, made the call during a news conference held in Abuja on Monday.
The event was organised by the Nigerian Women Trust Fund in collaboration with the National Assembly.
“As we move closer to the transition to a new administration and commencement of the 10th National Assembly, Nigerians and, indeed, the world, is expectant of the positive impact the administration of Tinubu will bring to Nigeria.
“More than ever before, the women-fold is expecting a deliberate display of executive will of the administration in mainstreaming women in public governance.
“Women-fold globally, and indeed the international community, are observing with keen interest whether the administration of Tinubu will pass its first litmus test of adherence and observance of the Rule of Law in appointment of cabinet members.
“And whether it will obey the judgment of the Federal High Court on women participation in governance by ensuring increased appointments are given to women.”
She further said that the number of women participation in governance in the country was extremely low.
Taiwo said: “This has led to the incorporated Trustees of Women Empowerment and Legal Aid initiative and eight other women bodies to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation to the Federal High Court.
“In suit FHC/AB/CS/2020, the Federal High Court, on April 6, 2022 compelled the Federal Government of Nigeria to live up to its responsibilities on women participation in politics and governance.
“The suit was successful and it was held that the issue of 35 per cent women participation in appointment into Federal Government offices has become a responsibility of the Federal Government backed by law and policy.
“The President and the Federal Government are bound to adhere to the 35 per affirmative action.”
Also speaking, Rep. Miriam Onuoha (APC-Imo), who is the only female in the House of Representatives vying for Speakership, said that women in parliament are capable to lead.
“I’m capable, committed and qualified. I am a ranking legislator of the ruling party and can be the speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.”
She said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the President-elect would stop at nothing to ensure that the revised National Gender Policy is implemented.
“My bid to be speaker will test the President-elect’s attitude to women. The time to elect a female speaker is now.
“We appeal to the APC in their bid to zone the principal offices to consider mainstreaming such that positions coming to the North and South will be balanced with gender. That way, there will be inclusivity to accommodate our diversity.”
Similarly, Rep. Adewunmi Onanuga (APC-Ogun), decried the marginalisation of women in parliament saying that there is no returning female member in the Senate.
“So, you can see all the agitations in both chambers.
“We have in the House of Representatives, seven returning members and three out of them are contesting for principal officers – one for Speakership and two of us for Deputy Speaker.
“We have women who have capacity to be deputy speaker and I am contesting as deputy speaker.”
Earlier, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Mrs Mufuliat Fijabi, said that attention needed to be paid to ensuring that women participated in governance.
She decried the little number of women in parliament.
“The percentage of women has dropped. It has been dropping since 2011.
“As we speak, we shall have less than two per cent of women at both chambers of the national assembly by the time the 10th assembly commences.
“In line with the Nigeria National Gender Policy which was adopted in 2006, the minimum of what women want is 35 per cent affirmative action.
“We don’t want women to be left behind,” she said. (NAN)
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