10th NASS: 231 women groups demand female Senate President, Speaker

A coalition of 231 women under the aegis of Womanifesto has demanded the positions of the Senate’s President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 10th National Assembly.

The groups are Woman Today Newspaper, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC),
100 Women Lobby Group, ActionAid Nigeria, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, Christian Women in Nigerian Politics, Women in Politics Forum (WiPF), Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) and Enough Is Enough Nigeria (EiE).

Others are Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Kimpact Initiatives, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Women Aid Collective (WACOL) and Yiaga Africa.

Convener and the Executive Director of WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in a statement yesterday, said having women serve as parliamentary principal officers would contribute tremendously to inclusive governance and national development in the next dispensation.

“Women groups call for more women in leadership positions at the National and State Assemblies.

“At least 44 per cent of Nigeria’s voting population are women, yet less than 5 per cent of the 1,553 women who contested the 2023 elections across Nigeria were elected. Despite the consistent push for increased representation of women in politics–elective and appointive positions, the just concluded 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections show alarming underrepresentation of women.

“For instance, of the 1,459 Legislative seats at the state and national levels, so far, women have won only 75 seats. Alarmingly, there are 15 states without a single woman in their State House of Assembly.

“It is of great concern that in the election into the Nigerian parliament from 1999 till date, only 176 women have been elected (new and repeat) as compared to 3,107 for their male counterparts.

“In the coming 10th National Assembly, there is a reduction from eight women in the Senate to three, while in the House of Representatives, only 17 women have been elected so far compared to the 13 in the outgoing 9th Assembly.

“It is no wonder that as of February 2023 the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ranks Nigeria 183 out of 193 countries in Women’s Representation in National Parliaments.

“In Nigeria’s 24 years of democracy, no woman has been Senate President or Deputy Senate President. Patricia Etteh is the only woman to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives from June to October 2007.

“There are qualified women among the elected National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly.

“In addition, it is the reality of the day that gender equity is critical to sustainable development; and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.

“Having women serve as parliamentary Principal Officers would contribute tremendously to inclusive governance and national development in the next dispensation.

“More than ever, we demand that:
The Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEO) Bill be passed; the five gender bills be re-debated and voted for, as the rejection of these bills has harmed Nigerian women, the country, and our social capital and more resources be allocated to pursue an equal society,” she said.


Published by WonderLady

Journalist, Educationist, Writer, Human Rights Advocate

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