July 12, 2024

Reasons President Tinubu, State Govs Must Appoint Women to Positions

Nigerian women have given reasons President Bola Tinubu and State governors must appoint more women to positions at all government levels.

They said, including women in their numbers to key positions in President Tinubu’s administration is crucial to advancing the political growth and socio-economic development the Nigerian state recorded in two decades.

Some members of the WFF during the retreat

“It is also a means to fulfill the mandated 35% affirmative action in appointive positions as contained in the provisions of the 2006 National Gender Policy and which was won in a ruling at the Federal High Court, Abuja in 2022.

And, more importantly, the women noted that President Tinubu understanding of the great role women played in stabilizing the nation’s polity, had promised to ensure greater inclusion in his cabinet.

This was one of the consensuses reached by the women at the just concluded 2023, two-day Womanifesto Feminist Forum (WFF) retreat held both physically in Lagos and joined virtually by other participants from across the globe.

Speaking variously on the theme of the retreat: “Building Consensus for Women’s Advancement in Nigeria” several presenters examined how women have fared in both the public and private spaces in the 24 years of the 4th republic concluding that, Nigerian women performed creditably well in the private sector than in political space.

The WFF noted that the poor outcome of the 2023 general elections in which the few women in Parliament lost their seats to men, remains a deep cut in women’s participation in politics since 1999.

Presenting data to back up the extent of the injury inflicted on Nigerian women seeking Political offices across the country, Executive Director Invictus Africa, Bukky Shonibare described the 2023 situation as “dire, because the data are not encouraging at all”

According to Shonibare in a paper titled: “Women’s Representation in African Politics (WRAPs) What is data saying”, Nigeria’s ranking in the 4th quarter of 2022 was 54th position in Africa with a total of 5.45% women representation in the Parliament.

Comparing with other African countries, Shonibare noted: “By the 4th quarter of 2022, Rwanda led the continent with a total of 47.95% women in parliament, followed by Senegal’s 44.20% women in parliament, Mozambique’s 42.40%, South ( 41.60 and Burundi’s 39.60 women participation.

Shonibare listed the five nations with poor women inclusion indices as Liberia-11%, The Gambia-8.6%, Benin-7.40%, Algeria- 6.20%, and Nigeria-5.45%.

According to the Executive Director, “Nigeria’s performance indices dropped by June 19, 2023, after the general elections to an abysmal low of 2.8% of elected women into the country’s parliament” The WFF is a coalition of over 250 groups across diverse sectors in the country.

Former First Lady, Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi
Senator Abiodun Olujimi addressing participants

Participants at the forum described the poor performance at the 2023 polls as the worst since 1999, urging President Tinubu and State Governors to compensate the women by appointing more women into key cabinet positions across all levels of government.

Others included Former first Lady Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, Adamawa State Majority Leader, Honourable Kate Mamuno, Permanent Secretary, Sokoto State Ministry of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Mohammed Dantsoho and Executive Director WRAPA, Hajia Saudatu Mahdi who all agreed that “while more women deserve appointive positions at all government levels, it is time women build consensus around all the issues that bind and unite them”.

L-R: Permanent Secretary Sokoto State Ministry of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Mohammed Dantsoho, President Network of Reproductive Health Journalists, Nigeria,(NRHJN) Mrs. Yinka Shokunbi and Taraba State Representative Hajia Umar

The forum urged women who would be appointed by various tiers of government to see their appointments as an opportunity to do things differently from what hitherto was the norm.

Consequently, the women have formed a coalition to mobilise and lobby the leadership of parties across the states as well as the presidency and national assembly for the inclusion of more women to cabinet positions.

The 2-day retreat was organised by Women, Advocates Research & Documentation Centres (WARDC), Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, WRAPA with support from McArthur Foundation.

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