Transparency and Integrity

3/15/2021

Bill To Save 1 Female Senatorial Seat Per State To Be Passed For 2nd Reading



House Of Representatives To Have 2nd Reading On Bill To Reserve 1 Senatorial Seat For Females Across The 36 States


..... Says It Is Part Of Efforts To Increase Women Representation In Government.


A bill earlier passed to make it mandatory  for each state in Nigeria to save 1 seat for a female senator is expected to come up for second reading in the House of Representatives.


Hon. Taiwo Oluga, the Chairperson House Committee on Women in Parliament, revealed while receiving the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, a coalition partner to Advance Gender Equality, SAGE, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. 



Oluga explained that the bill is part of the  committee's effort towards increasing women representation in government.



“ What we are proposing in the bill is to have at least a senator from every state, it can be two out of the three.


“ It is not just because the female want to occupy positions, we want to complement the efforts of the men; we are not in competition, just to complement them.


“ Why is the committee advocating this? It is because we know we have women who are intelligent and are capable in this country.


“We have females that have the ability, they have demonstrated the ability; we are just 12 in this 9th House but our contributions on the floor cannot be swept under the carpet, the house recognizes that."


Hon. Oluga Commended the contributions of female lawmakers to national issues such as Security, Health and the Reduction of the number of children who are out of school stressing that the issues confronting Nigeria as a nation cannot be addressed without the active participation of women. 


Speaking on the demographics she said,  'women, with population of about 100 million cannot be ignored or left out in the scheme of things.' 


 A report from the News Agency of Nigeria reveals also that Hon Oluga laid emphasis on the interventions of the committee which further paved way for all 20 female lawmakers in the National Assembly to be included in the Constitution Review Committee.


“ My own personal opinion is to have 360 members divided by two; how we are going to do it, let the political parties and the INEC cooperate and let everyone be on the same page and make it a reality.


“ If you cannot do that, in 2023 give us the 35 per cent affirmative action, and that is what we are doing in collaboration with all stakeholders,” she said.


Earlier, the Senior Programme Manager, Pamela Okoroigwe, said that there was need to strategize on how to increase women representation in government.


Speaking further, Okorigwe said that such strategy was most necessary as the Constitution was being amended by the National Assembly. She also recommended that the Constitution should be amended to change the terms and phrases to reflect all gender.


The use of “He” for example, as used in the constitution should be removed and let ‘Chairman’ be replaced with ‘Chairperson’.


Ms Okoroigwe still speaking on the Constitution said, the constitution should be amended to ensure 35% affirmative action for women was reflected in candidacy in  political parties.


According to Okoroigwe, INEC can be empowered by the constitution to enforce it these agitation and by political parties that fail to conform should be deregistered. 


Ms Okoroigwe said that the constitution should be amended to make it mandatory for the offices of chairman and secretary of political party leadership be occupied by a man and woman at all times.


She said that the constitution should also be amended to reflect 35 per cent affirmative action in ministerial appointments and in the Judiciary.


The Programme Manager, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Okeke Anya, said that the SAGE is a USAID supported project.


He said that the aim was to drive a campaign to increase the number of women in governance across all tiers.


Mr Anya said that a political party advisory group was being worked on to engage political parties on the need to produce more female candidates.



He said that a Civil Society group was also in place to help amplify and increase the momentum of the SAGE. 


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