INEC Boss says gender equality is achievable

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, says to achieve gender equality, enforceable legislation needs to be imbibed.

Yakubu, who stated this at the Voice of Women (VOW) 2022 conference and awards, added that until they deliberate such legislation to close gender gaps, gender equality will continue to be a rolling stone that gathers no moss.

Represented by a National Commissioner, May Agbamuche-Mbu, while delivering the keynote speech with the theme ‘Towards rebuilding Nigeria: An agenda setting for an inclusive and accountable Nigeria,’ Yakubu explained why achieving success in encouraging gender equity and balance within the political parties had become a difficult task to surmount.

The INEC boss added that another reason for the long-time inequality could be political parties’ limitations to just sustaining engagements, advocacies, moral persuasions, and capacity-building programmes for female aspirants and candidates.

He says, “Achieving gender equity has been difficult for all the political parties, and this can be because of the lack of implementable legislation.

“Until there’s an enforceable legislation that is gender responsive in terms of their leadership structure, as well as policies and practices, the political parties may be limited to just sustaining engagements, advocacies, moral persuasions and capacity building programmes for female aspirants and candidates.”

In his speech, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Party (APC), Bola Tinubu, said his presidency would ensure a good percentage of women inclusiveness in its government.

Represented by his running mate, Kashim Shettima, Tinubu maintained women are the ultimate in accessing any society, adding that it is always easy to talk but difficult to work the talk.

He noted that 2023 is not a preparation, but an institution that relies on ideas and tracks records to be shown.

In bolstering his point, Shettima said: “Tinubu’s deputy when he was a governor was a woman. As a onetime governor of Borno State, I appointed five women commissioners. I assure you that women will be given a fair chance to contribute to nation building.”

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, said he had a female deputy governor as a former governor of Anambra State, noting that women are far more productive than men.

He said: “For Nigeria to move forward, the government has to be surrounded by women. We cannot run the country without women on the driving seat. Women and youths should have a percentage of all position in Nigeria.”



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