Minister urges Legislature to create additional seats for women

Salihu Ali, Abuja

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As the Nigerian Legislature resumes from recess, Nigeria’s Women Affairs Minister, Mrs. Pauline Tallen has called upon them to support the bill to create additional special seats for Women in the Federal and States legislatures.

She also asked them to build political support to all gender-sensitive constitution alteration bills in their legislative process.

Mrs. Tallen made the call at the Nigerian Men’s Conference on Gender Sensitive Constitutional Reform held in Abuja.

Highlighting the objectives of the conference, the Minister said, it is to broaden awareness on the gains of gender-sensitive alteration bill towards securing new commitments from high-level influencers for its passage.

According to Mrs. Tallen, “the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs has remained steadfast in coordinating the efforts of Nigerian Women, civil society organizations and eminent national and international leaders aimed at achieving gender-sensitive reform in the ongoing constitutional alteration process. One of these efforts is Supporting Advancement of Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative which the Ministry is partnering with for this conference.”

In a message at the event, Nigeria’s Senate President Dr. Ahmad Lawan represented by Senator Ladi Daduut, said, “the agitation for more women in politics is a Long-standing one, needing a continuous consideration for us to achieve success and reap its benefits.”

Also Speaking, the Speaker House of Representatives Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila represented by Deputy Chief Wip Mrs. Nkiruka Onyejeocha expressed confidence in the passage of the bill to create additional seats for Women at both the federal and state legislature for more inclusive representation.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State legislature of Nigeria, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman gave the assurance that “f the Bill is passed by the National Assembly and its resolution transmitted to the State Houses of Assembly, the Conference of Speakers shall sensitize our colleagues at the state level on the importance of this Bill.

He said he is “confident that we shall record more than the required two-thirds ratification in favour of the proposed amendment. This is because of our believe in the fact that paving the way for more women participation not only in politics but in other arena like business etc, is an investment worth venturing.”  

Prof.Jibrin Ibrahim delivered a paper on “Gender-Sensitive Constitutional Reforms – Panacea for improving Women’s Representation in Political Office”, as partners from USAID, UKAID, National Democratic Institute NDI among others made commitments at the event.


Nnenna.O

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