Ahead of the May 29 presidential inauguration, Nigerian women on Monday urged President-elect, Bola Tinubu to enforce the National Gender Policy by allotting 35 per cent of appointments in the public sector to women.
According to them, the president-elect should adhere to the rule of law and mainstream women in appointive offices, adding that they won’t accept anything less than 35 per cent of the appointive positions.
They made the demand at a press briefing organised by female legislators and the Women Trust Fund in Abuja. The call came amid concerns about the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in Nigeria.
Speaking, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Women in Parliament, Hon. Oluga Taiwo, highlighted the importance of gender mainstreaming in governance, stating that women constitute over 50 per cent of the population and their contributions to nation-building cannot be over-emphasised.
She noted that gender mainstreaming is not just about meeting the 35 per cent affirmative action in appointments, but also about ensuring that women are appointed based on merit.
A contestant for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Miriam Onuoha, and two aspirants for Deputy Speaker, Hon. Adewunmi Onanuga and Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, who also spoke, called for greater inclusion of women in leadership positions and urged the incoming administration to prioritize gender mainstreaming in all aspects of governance.
Hon. Onuoha emphasised the need for women to be given equal opportunities to participate in politics and governance; while Hon. Onanuga and Hon. Akande-Sadipe, on her part, stressed that gender mainstreaming is not just a moral imperative, but also a legal obligation.
In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Mufuliat Fijabi, observed that despite the country’s adoption of the National Gender Policy and other international instruments, women continue to be marginalized in politics and decision-making processes.
She, however, stressed that the incoming administration of President-elect Bola Tinubu has the opportunity to change this narrative and ensure greater inclusion of women in governance.