Some members of the House of Representatives is asking that 50 per cent of elective positions in Nigeria be reserved for women,
The Chairman, House Committee on Women in Parliament, Taiwo Oluga, said 50 per cent should be the minimum in the next general elections in line with the 1999 Constitution. although the United Nations’ affirmative action prescribes 35 per cent.
The House Committees on Women in Parliament and Women Affairs, at a summit in Abuja on Monday, threatened that women would boycott the 2023 general elections if the demand was not met.
The summit, which was jointly organised by the committees, the European Union and the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, had ‘Roundtable on Improving Women’s Political Participation and Inclusion in Nigeria’ as its theme.
She said, “There is the need to improve women’s participation in politics and governance in Nigeria.
“The essence of the summit is to create awareness on the need to improve women’s participation in politics in Nigeria at all levels of governance, identify factors militating against women participation in politics in Nigeria and come up with an achievable action plan on how to improve women’s participation in politics in Nigeria.
“Despite Nigeria ‘s gender policy and its commitment to the global affirmative action, the national average of women’s participation in politics has never exceeded 6.7 per cent of both elective and appointive positions in the country.
“This is far below the global average of 22.3 per cent, the West African regional average of 15 per cent and the African regional average of 23.4 per cent.”
Chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs, Adewunmi Onanuga, also said instead of the 30 per cent affirmative action plan, which had yet to be attained, the country should raise the percentage for the 2023 polls, in line with the constitutional requirement of “equality among genders.”