Monday, September 25, 2023

Incoming administration tasked on passing gender bills to law

“It is not just about running for office. We expect that he will give consideration to women.”

• May 28, 2023
President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu

Some civil society groups in Nigeria have called on the incoming administration to, as a matter of urgency, pass the gender bills into law to enable more women inclusion in governance and strategic appointive positions.

The CSOs made the calls as part of their expectations from the incoming administration in separate interviews on Sunday in Lagos.

The proposed gender bills are a move for constitutional inclusion of gender/women’s rights.

The bills include special seats for women in the states’ House of Assembly, expansion of the scope of citizenship by registration and affirmative action for women in political party administration.

Others are indigeneship rights and affirmative action in ministerial and commissioner appointments.

The eight years tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari will come to an end on May 29, while the incoming administration of President-elect Bola Tinubu will commence on May 29, 2023.

Speaking, Joe Okei-Odumakin, the president of Women Arise for Change Initiative, urged the incoming administration to support the passage of the gender bills.

Ms Okei-Odumakin also called on political actors to engage women in its programme implementations and strategies.

“Tinubu must be deliberate about the implementation of the 35 per cent women affirmative action plan into his cabinet through appointment,” she said.

Ms Joe-Odumakin added, “The government must put women in strategic places of governance as we are less exposed to corruption.”

On his part, Mark Amaza, senior communications officer, Yiaga Africa, tasked the president-elect on good governance across the board by hitting the ground running immediately.

He said: “They need to prove that they would be the better choice even after the election, which is the only means of delivering on good governance.

“It is not just about running for office. We expect that he will give consideration to women.”

Similarly, Emmanuella Azu, head of programme, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), called on the incoming administration to sign the National Gender Policy.

“We hope that the Bola Tinubu administration can meet up to 35 per cent affirmative action for women.

“By doing so, it would push Nigeria up the ladder on the gender equality index.

“Nigeria ranks 154 on the gender equality index out of 186, which is very low.

“Therefore, it would be a welcome development, and it would also push Nigeria forward.”

Ms Azu also urged the incoming 10th National Assembly to ensure affirmative action for women in political party administration to enable participation and voice.

“A bill that sought to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of a Nigerian woman.

“Allocating at least 10 per cent affirmative action to ministerial appointment positions.

“While the fifth proposed bill sought to ensure indigeneship rights to women to avoid the discrimination and violence women suffer in a bid to participate effectively in society,” she said.

The CSOs also tasked the incoming administration on improving security, the education system, health, social services and all other sectors that Nigerians need for attention.

They also called on the need to prioritise and look at critical issues that would impact Nigerians positively through various reforms.


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