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Nigerian Women Insists on Equal Political Participation

Nigerian Women have voiced their demand for full representation in the ongoing constitution amendment review as lawmakers commence sitting on Wednesday.

The political forum which took place in Abuja was attended by Pauline Tallen, Honorable Minister of Women Affairs; Comfort Lamptey, United Nations Women representative to Nigeria and other stakeholders.

The forum accessed the 1999 constitution from a gender perspective and discussed probable amendments to increase women’s political participation and leadership.

Pauline stated that the women are demanding short and long term strategies to bring about equal representation in governance such as statutory quotas and reserved spaces which should be applied across the board.

The minister also demanded the implementation of constitutional provision for federal character representation.

The UN Women representative observed that the 1999 Nigerian constitution did not consider the inclusion of women’s political participation. She stated that presently, civil society organizations, government and international development partners have a role to play to ensure equal representation.

Mrs. Eberu Efundu, Founder of Women in Politics Forum, further compared women’s participation in politics and how low it was with other African nations.

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‘If you take a look at African countries that have achieved inclusion and equal representation of women in politics, you will see that they did so through a form of the legal document supporting gender quota. We have countries like Cameroon, Ghana, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Africa, etc.’

Taiye Okoosi Simbine, INEC National Commissioner, was present at the event. He revealed that the data available from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suggests that participation of women in politics from the 2019 general elections has worsened.

The women pledged their commitment to continue to express their intentions until the demands are met.

Peace Omenka

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