Transparency and Integrity


Women Representation: WIPF Launches Website To Boost National Campaign On Gender Bills

Women In Politics Forum (WIPF) Launches National Campaign, Website To Enable Nigerians Reach Representatives In The National Assembly For Passage Of Special Seats  Bill,Others Into Law. 

Women In Politics Forum (WIPF) a non-partisan forum for Women which recognizes the marginalization of Women in Politics, decision-making and the importance of unity, regardless of Party affiliation, to give a voice to women in Leadership issued a press statement on 25th of June 2024 announcing the launch of a national campaign with support from ActionAid and WVL to enable Nigerians reach out to their representatives in the National Assembly and ask them to pass the special seats bill and other gender bills via a website. 

In the statement issued by it's president Barr. Ebere Ifendu, WIPF lamented that it had over the years been vocal on the need for increased women representation in political offices in Nigeria which continues to be a problem with the release of the results of elected officials into the 10th National Assembly. Amidst the international celebration of women, Nigerian women are faced with the reality of having 19 women in the 10th National Assembly which is a reduction from the 9th Assembly. Also, out of 993 state parliamentarians, only 48 are women with 14 states having no female representation in the state assemblies. It has become overwhelmingly clear that if legislative activism is not exercised to increase women’s political representation, the numbers will continue to be poor.

"Two years ago, in January 2022 when the 9th National Assembly joint committee on constitutional amendments passed 5 bills (which we have now termed the 5 gender bills), we thought that there was finally hope for Nigerian women to truly be part of governance as some of the bills specifically sought to increase Women’s representation in governance. 

" Unfortunately, both the senate and the House of Representatives failed to pass these bills at the plenaries in March 2022 despite the advocacy and lobbying attempts of various civil society actors and Nigerian women.
When civil society investigated the failure of the bills to pass, parliamentarians’ response showed that they did not believe the bills were of significance to their constituents and hence did not prioritize its passage. It was truly heartbreaking to hear that bills that were centered on a group of people constituting almost half of the population were not prioritized by law makers.

" Nigerian women however did not loose hope and have begun advocacy to the 10th National Assembly to pass the bills. We were then confronted with the problem of creating a platform linking Nigerians to parliamentarians where Nigerians can directly ask for the bills to be passed.

" As an answer, We have launched a national campaign, with support from
ActionAid Nigeria on the WVL project, that makes it possible for every Nigerian, both home and abroad to reach their representatives in the National Assembly to ask them to pass these bills. 

" All you need is to visit, click on THE CONSTITUTION We WANT campaign to participate. When you fill in your state and local government, it connects you directly with your senator or House of Representatives member. You can then decide to send a direct sms or email asking them to vote in Favour of the bills.
Nigeria’s population today is over 200,000 (two hundred million) with women constituting more than 49% of the population and yet, sadly, cannot boast of up to 15% representation in governance.

" Today, we are calling on every Nigerian, not every woman, but every Nigerian to join this campaign. Inclusivity is a fundamental part of our democracy and if we fail to achieve this, millions of Nigerians will continue to be excluded. If only 20 people engage each engage their senators and House of Representatives members on this campaign, then we would have 9,380 petitions before the National Assembly for these bills and this is just the barest minimum.

" You are only one minute away from making this dream for Nigerian women a reality. For years, even before Nigeria got her independence, Nigerian women have fought and contributed to ensuring democracy. It is time we get involved in this democracy we protect.
On behalf of Nigerian women, both old and young, dead or alive, who have fought for women’s political participation, we say a big thank you as we know you will participate in this campaign," she added. 

No comments:

Post a Comment