Group Urges Buhari to Sup­port Af­fir­ma­tive Ac­tion for Women


Tobi Soniyi

A non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion, Al­liance for Africa, has called on Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari to com­ply with the 35 per cent af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion for women.

The group also ex­pressed con­cern over poor rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in Nige­rian po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship, urg­ing the gov­ern­ment to take a cue from other African coun­tries in ad­dress­ing the is­sue.

Speak­ing at a workshop on the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of 35 per cent af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion in pub­lic gov­er­nance in Enugu, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of Al­liance for Africa, Ms Iheoma Obibi, also urged the Na­tional As­sem­bly to as a mat­ter of ur­gency, pass the Gen­der and Equal Op­por­tu­ni­ties Bill ( GEOB) presently be­fore it, which sup­ports equal par­tic­i­pa­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women and men in de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses.

Obibi called on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to pre­vail on the po­lit­i­cal par­ties to bridge the gen­der gap by main­stream­ing gen­der in their in­ter­nal party poli­cies.

She also called on the gov­ern­ment to pro­mote gen­der equal­ity in the po­lit­i­cal sphere and in de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses at lo­cal and na­tional lev­els.

The ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor also urged the gov­ern­ment to demon­strate a clear road map of implementing and achiev­ing the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals (SDGs), es­pe­cially the one on gen­der equal­ity.

She said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was both­ered that as the 2019 gen­eral elec­tion ap­proaches, the present po­lit­i­cal dis­pen­sa­tion had the low­est rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in pub­lic of­fice.

Ac­cord­ing to her, “Nige­ria as a mem­ber of the United Na­tions, signed and rat­i­fied var­i­ous rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional in­stru­ments, treaties and con­ven­tions with­out reser­va­tion.

She also stated that these in­stru­ments have al­ways em­pha­sised that mem­ber na­tions put in place all the nec­es­sary mech­a­nisms needed to elim­i­nate gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tions, en­sure equal­ity and hu­man dig­nity to all, men and women.

“In Nige­ria, no woman has ever be­come a pres­i­dent or a vice pres­i­dent. The only first fe­male gov­er­nor in Nige­ria, Dame Virgy Etiaba, only func­tioned in Anam­bra State as gov­er­nor for six months.’’

She cited some African coun­tries where their gov­ern­ments had de­ployed the var­i­ous in­stru­ments to shore up women par­tic­i­pa­tion in pol­i­tics, say­ing it was no longer an is­sue in some of them.

“The Al­liance for Africa rec­og­nizes the sup­port and con­tri­bu­tions of key stake­hold­ers who are in­sist­ing on af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion to­ward equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women and men pub­lic life which is nec­es­sary for an ef­fec­tive/ func­tional democ­racy and the ad­vance­ment of women’s rights a cen­tral is­sue to achieve po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and so­cial jus­tice.

“We hereby call on the Nige­rian gov­ern­ment to em­u­late other African coun­tries that have suc­cess­fully ad­dressed the un­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship im­me­di­ately,’’ Obibi added.

L-R: For­mer Act­ing Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of PDP, Se­na­tor Ben Ndi Obi; for­mer Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion and Cul­ture, Hon Emeka Chikelu; and La­gos lawyer, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, dur­ing a con­do­lence visit to the Chikelus, af­ter the burial of late Mrs. Ifeatu...

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