Women Lawyers in Rivers state have expressed mixed reaction over the ministerial list released by the presidency today.
Speaking to our correspondent on the sideline of an event put together by the women/Ministry of Social Welfare Barr. Chigo Amadi said the list was long overdue but failed to reach or meat expectation of women towards achieving gender balancing as declared by the UN nation convention on gender parity.
Another woman Mrs Abels Gladys says the list was fair, compared to the previous years under the same administration. She called on the president to do to enthrone gender equality in a political appointment
Meanwhile Some women’s rights advocates in Nigeria are speaking over the new ministerial list. They criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to fulfill his promise of 35 per cent female representation on his list of ministerial nominees.
The President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, during the 2019 election campaigns, had promised 35 per cent participation of women in the Federal cabinet.
Buhari’s campaign organisation, in a document titled ‘Next Level Roadmap,’ had said, “To achieve 35 per cent in female appointments, more youth appointment on boards, special mentoring programme in governance with young graduates working with ministers and other senior government appointees.”
However, out of 43 nominees for ministerial positions, there are only seven women on the list.
They are: Sharon Ikeazor, Zainab Ahmed, Gbemisola Saraki, Ramatu Tijjani-Aliyu, Sadiya Farouk, Mariam Katagun and Pauline Tallen.
“We would have preferred a situation whereby at least 35 per cent of the list is made up of women.
“We like the fact that he still considered women, but we are not happy with the number. So, we hope that there will still be room for him to ensure that we have a minimum of 35 per cent.
A Senior Programmes Officer of the Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, Mary George, said the number of women on Buhari’s ministerial list did not portray inclusiveness in his government.
George said, “For us as women advocates, we should be able to see more women on that ministerial list. Unfortunately, by the time we did our count, it was only seven.
“Looking at the 35 per cent affirmative action that we have always been advocating for, and we even did a newspaper publication to encourage government to put more women on that ministerial appointees’ list, we are not happy.
“However, we think that there is always room for government to make an amendment as far as they are committed to issues of gender development in Nigeria. We hope that in the nearest future, we are going to see more of women in such positions.”
Several rights groups had, in recent times, lamented the exclusion of women from politics.
Currently, no woman holds any governorship position in the country, while only 29 women are in the 469-member National Assembly.