Call For More Female Political Inclusion Heightens

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Panel session

Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria

The reason Nigeria may not be where it thought it would, could be because many women are not involved in Nigerian politics. The Federal Character Commission while making provisions for criteria in political appointments, should have also made positions to show that women can also be nominated.

These were the words of Ebere Ifendu, while moderating at the Day 02 of the Women In Parliament Summit held on Tuesday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

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Moderating a panel session with the topic, The Cost of Political Inclusion: Taking Legislative Action To Improve Women’s Representation In Nigeria, she said the five gender bills that were not accented to during the 9th National Assembly is an indication that more efforts should be put to see that they are passed at the present 10th Assembly.

“As parliamentarians, what can we to see that the gender bills are passed both at the national and state levels”? she asked.

Mariam Edeko, Deputy Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly said women need to come together and have intellectual discuss to incorporate more women for more positions in authority.

“We need to come together, talking without a plan of action may end in futility. The provision of the constitution states that one becomes a citizen through birth and has the right to participate in political activities.

“Asking for 35 percent affirmation for appointive positions, we should be also be asking for 25 percent elective positions. We must organise strategies that will set up women for positions, we should not limit ourselves. We must make use of legal framework to achieve our goal. We are going to need the Governors Wife Forum, the Presidency to make this work”, she said.

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Hon. Foluke Osafile, representing Amuwo Odofin 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, said the reason the five gender bills were not passed at the 9th Assembly is for the bills to be given another chance to be improved on. She also said all first ladies of each state must be fully engaged and female stakeholders agitating for women political inclusion should refrain from using the word ‘gender equality’, rather ‘gender equity’ “because, from the beginning, it was not so”, she said.

Rukayat Shittu, from the Kwara State House of Assembly said the cost of political inclusion is very simple but, the implementation complex. She revealed that the state female legislators have much work to do to achieve female political inclusion, as it comes down to the state level after it would have been passed at the National Assembly.

“We must practice implementation, practical political system, not just discussions. As legislators, our legislative policy should be prioritised on female inclusion but, we should be mindful of the language used. If a language is not well communicated, the goal of female political inclusion may end up being a problem.

The 27 year old legislator while complimenting the roles the media play in ensuring the goal of female political inclusion is achieved, she advised that female legislators should not be shy in expressing themselves on issues of female political inclusion.

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