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Remi Tinubu, other female lawmakers demand 35% affirmative action for women

The federal lawmakers asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sign an executive order to advance women participation in politics.

• November 26, 2020
Remi Tinubu and Muhammadu Buhari
Remi Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari

Female lawmakers shared their opinions at a workshop on gender legislation and other legal instruments in Abuja.

The event was organised by the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) and United Nations Women.

The Director General of NILDS, Abubakar Suleiman, said that women made up 11.2 percent of both chambers of the National Assembly. 

“The exclusion of women in politics has been seen of late as a setback in the economic development of the country,” Mr. Suleiman said. “As it stands, women constitute only 11.2 percent of the National Assembly, despite having more numbers in the country.”

He acknowledged the increase in gender-based violence as a result of the lockdown as well as the lack of clear measures to address the issue.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, House of Representatives’ deputy chief, said everything must be done to guarantee the place of women in politics.

Ms. Onyejeocha, who represented the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila at the event, said: “There are still too many obstacles restricting women in Nigeria. This is more prevalent and damaging in politics and governance. We keep women from participating in governance. The society suffers because of this…I wholeheartedly support women’s participation in politics.”

This followed the adoption of a motion, sponsored under matters of urgent public importance, during plenary by the Ms. Onyejeocha, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu said male politicians continue to frustrate any move to give women a special place in government without the intervention of the president.

She urged President Muhammadu Buhari to send an executive bill to that effect and prevail on the leadership of the National Assembly to pass it. She highlighted previous attempts  had been made during constitution amendments, but male lawmakers truncated the move

In 2017, the Senate voted down the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, which aimed to give women equal rights in marriage, education and employment. The bill was reintroduced in 2019, but was again rejected by the Senate in March. 

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