A Non-Governmental Organisation Baobab for Women’s Human Rights has condemned the rejection of Bills to enhance the status of Nigerian Women by the National Assembly on the first day of March 2022, just a few days to the International Women’s Day.
A statement by the Executive Director Ms. Bunmi Dipo-Salami says 95.9% of male lawmakers at the National Assembly voted against all the bills aimed at ensuring gender justice through the advancement of the rights of Nigerian women as full citizens.
According to the statement, The gender bills proposed in the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution which sought to provide opportunities for them to participate fully in the political and governance space as well as inclusive citizenship rights include #35) Special Seats for Women in the National and State Houses of Assembly; #36) Expansion of the scope of Citizenship by Registration (Citizenship to the foreign-born husband of a Nigerian woman); #37) Affirmative action for Women in Political Party Administration (Grant women 35% affirmative action in party administration and leadership). #68) Reserved Quota for Women (Grant 35% appointed positions to women).
The statement further explains that Women make up nearly half the entire country’s population in Nigeria but are underrepresented in Nigeria’s political space.
Presently, only 8 out of 109 Senators are women, only 22 out of 360 House of Representatives members are women, there is no female governor, and 44 out of 990 State Houses of Assembly are women.
The statement says that Inclusivity in the public space is a fundamental aspect of modern democracy, and improved representation of women has been shown to have benefits such as improved policy changes, economic growth, and enhanced peacebuilding.
The Organisation joins other groups to demand that the National Assembly puts the advancement of women on the Agenda by approving the relevant Bills and call on government at all levels to end the patriarchal practices that undermine the dignity of women and enjoined stakeholders to protect the present and future generations of women by demanding for their rights.
Reporting by Azizatu Sani, editing by Daniel Adejo