30% Women delegation will come from member states – ECOWAS Parliament

Adoba Echono

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The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohamed Tunis has said that the election by direct universal suffrage of the community’s parliamentarians, should make it possible to implement the provision of the Supplementary Act on Enhancementing Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament, which requires each member state to ensure that at least 30% of its parliamentary delegation is composed of women.

Mr. Tunis who stated this during his opening statement on the ECOWAS Parliament joint delocalised committees meeting on Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment; Education, Science and Culture; Health on the theme “Empowering of Women in the ECOWAS Region” currently ongoing in Monrovia, the Republic of Liberia also pledged the parliament’s to achieving this in the legislature.

 The Speaker of the Community Parliament noted that ECOWAS has made a clear commitment to prioritise gender equality and women’s empowerment in the frameworks of the regional integration process.

According to him, “the Supplementary Act on Equal Rights between Men and Women for Sustainable Development in the ECOWAS Region serves as a strong legal tool that can be used to champion women development.

This instrument was adopted by the 47th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Accra, Ghana, on the 19th May, 2015.”

 The Speaker of the Regional Parliament disclosed that at its just concluded 2021 1st Extra-Ordinary Session held in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 29th March to 2nd April 2021, the ECOWAS Parliament considered and adopted its Strategic Plan for the 5th Legislature.

This Plan, according to him, “identified the enhancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment as a major strategic area under the Parliament’s participation programme.

“This, if pursued vigorously, would make the ECOWAS Parliament gender responsive and I pledge to do my best to ensure the achievement of that feat within the period of my mandate.” 

Mr. Tunis noted the social, political and cultural factors affecting women’s development in the ECOWAS Region and assured that the ongoing meeting of the joint committee, with the support of the experts will enable them to review the legal framework, compare their experiences, compare their institutional systems in order to highlight the obstacles to women’s empowerment and propose concrete measures adopted by the Community Parliament or brought forward by it to other regional bodies.

The session continues with expert presentations on issues concerning Women’s Empowerment in the ECOWAS region.

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