Transparency and Integrity


#IWD : "Nigerian Women Credible Partners In Progress" - Effah-Attoe

#BreakTheBias PDP National Woman Leader Holds World  Press Conference

– Calls On Nigerian Men To #BreakTheBias
– Says Vote Against Adequate Women Representation, Tragic. 

The National Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe on Tuesday to commemorate the International Woman's Day Celebration held a World Press conference at the Party's Secretariat in Wuse, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. 

Professor Effah-Attoe while speaking lamented over the recent position of the Nigerian Legislature. Describing the actions of the Nigerian lawmakers she said, " the vote against adequate women representation is moribund, retrogressive and utterly calamitous." 

Read Full Text Of Press Conference : 

I welcome all of you to this Press Conference. Special greetings to the men and women of the press. I wish to congratulate all the women and men in Nigeria and the world at large on the celebration of this auspicious occasion of the International Women’s Day which is today, Tuesday the 8th of March, 2022.

The International Women’s Day is a Global event in which the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women are celebrated. This day also serves as a reminder to both men and women to take positive actions that would promote Gender Parity. This celebration has come a long way, since 1911 and today, it has become a global phenomenon.The Theme of this year’s Celebration is GENDER EQUALITY TODAY FOR SUSTAINABLE TOMMOROW: BREAK THE BIAS.

This Theme is very apt, succinct and challenging. It is a clarion call for both men and women to work together and break the bias against women. As you can see in my topic, I am calling on all Nigerians (men, women, old and young) to break the bias and go ahead to put Gender Parity on the Nigerian agenda for the benefit of all Nigerians. “Break the Bias” is a clarion call that aims at canvassing for a Gender Equal world, a Nigeria that is free of Bias, Stereotype and Discrimination against women.

It seeks to entrench Equity and Inclusiveness, build a society where Gender differences are respected and celebrated. Ladies and gentlemen, let us collectively break the bias against women in our dear country, in our work places, in our Legislature, Executive and Judiciary; break the bias in our homes and schools. Ladies and gentlemen, you would recall that Tuesday, the First of March, 2022 was indeed a Black Day in the annals of Nigerian History. This was when the National Assembly in Nigeria failed to make History on one of the critical issues on the Nation-Building Discourse, by voting against the Gender Bills that seek to achieve Gender Balancing in both appointive and elective leadership positions of our dear country, Intra-Party leadership and administrative positions.

It is common knowledge that Women’s inclusiveness in the Socio-Economic and Political activities of any country brings about a robust, sustainable growth and development. This is the direction the World is heading to. This trajectory has been supported by humanistic and scientific researches worldwide.

Socio-cultural, economic and political achievements of women in the world and in Nigeria in particular, are enormous. Women are symbols of peace, progress, stability and unity. In Africa, we have seen Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as former Liberian President. You also know that the current President of Tanzania is Her Excellency, Samia Suluhu Hassan. Our own Ngozi Okonjo Iweala heads the World Trade Organisation, a position she beat many men to.

You can see the likes of Ibada Ahmed, Director, Iron Capital; Bethlehem Tilahun, founding M.D and Chairperson of Selam Bank; Chimamanda Adichie, world-class award-winning Writer; Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations etc.

At the global level are the likes of former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; Vice President of the United States, Ms Kamala Harris; former Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning- Schmidt; Current Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen; former  Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra; former President of Argentina Christiana Fernandes de Kirchner; former President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff; former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard; Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheik Hasina Wajed; former Prime Minister of Iceland Johanna Sigurdardottir; Current Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir; former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla; former President of Finland Tarja Halonen; former President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite; former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad – Bissessar.

Women form a very good per cent of Universities Professors, of which I am one. It is therefore, a calamitous situation when in the 21st century, the Nigerian Legislature would largely vote against adequate Women representation in Governance and Policy Making. This unfortunate development could be described as “A Modern-Day Tragedy.”

It is retrogressive, moribund, unfortunate and tragic. In fact, it speaks very lowly of our dear country in the comity of nations, especially with the EU Women award coming up shortly. However, I think that this decision of the National Assembly is not cast in rock.I have no doubt whatsoever that the Pro-Women Lawmakers on this matter are of the PDP stock. This is not a surprise because the issue of the 35% Affirmative Action is boldly entrenched in the Constitution of the PDP, Chapter 1, Sub Section 7, where it is clearly spelt out that “In nomination for Party Offices, not less than 35% shall be reserved for Women.”  PDP has taken the lead in Women’s inclusiveness in Party Politics.

We are awaiting the Practical implementation of this Constitutional Provision. However, the Legislature should have emulated the PDP, in the first instance, in adopting the 35% Affirmative Action in its Constitutional Amendments. The issue of implementation would have followed thereafter.At this juncture, it must be brought to the fore that majority of Nigerians are disappointed, frustrated and feel grossly disrespected by the rejection of the Gender Equality Bills by the National Assembly.It is in the light of this catastrophic insensitivity that the Office of the National Woman Leader of the PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY makes these Prayers:

(a. ) The National Assembly should Re-present the said Bills for positive reconsideration(s). This is not a sign of weakness. It is rather that of strength.

(b. ) The idiosyncrasies against Women in the National Assembly, should be jettisoned.

(c. ) The rise of women, does not in anyway, make men fall.

(d. ) The National Assembly should adopt the 35% Affirmative Action which is the most acceptable global standard on Gender inclusion.

(e.) The expectations of Nigerians on this matter should be met and that is the quick passage of the Gender Equality Bills.

( f.) Gender balance is not solely a women’s issue. Men should be greatly involved in advancing it.

(g.) No Democracy without Gender inclusiveness.

(h.) Male Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and States Assemblies should support the Gender Bills in the law-making Chambers.

(i.) All and sundry should support  Gender Parity  for Sustainable Development.

Nigerian Women have nothing else to prove. They are credible Partners-In-Progress in Nigeria’s Nation Building Discourse.
I will continue to follow the trend of events and will contribute my own humble quota in ensuring that the Equation is gotten Right. God will see us through. I thank you all for listening, she added. 

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