Abuja, June 2, 2023 (NAN) A coalition of 20 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has urged members-elect to include of women as principal officers in the 10th National Assembly.
The coalition, at a news conference in Abuja on Friday also demanded that women should occupy top offices, and should have “Grade A” committees to chair.
The Coordinator, Gender Technical Unit (GTU), Ms Eqy Anazonwu said the coalition would also like a woman to be elected as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, at least.
“At least two women should be elected as main Principal officers in the House of Representatives.
“Women from both chambers should be appointed to chair Grade A committees and more resources be allocated to pursue an equal society,” she said.
Anazonwu said it was vital for legislatures to reflect the rich tapestry of their constituents, by consciously repositioning the few elected women.
She said that the legislature can benefit from a wide range of perspectives and experiences, leading to better decision-making, fairer policies, and a stronger democracy.
Also speaking, the convener of Womanifesto, Dr Abiola Akinyode said women leadership had made a difference in Rwanda,Uganda, Ethiopia, and can make the desired difference in Nigeria.
According to her, there are educated and very qualified women who are ranking in the incoming 10th Assembly, fit to be presiding officers.
She lamented that women are often not given grade A committees to chair, saying the appropriation and public accounts of the country, for instance, needed a woman’s eye.
“Nigeria has gotten to a critical stage where we need people that are credible, that have integrity and can take positions that can define our economic space.
“That is why we are pressing for those so called grade A committees, they should fill them up with women,” she said.
According to her, women constituted 44 per cent of voters, and 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population, and must therefore be given a chance to occupy leadership positions, as a matter of right.
Akinyode, however, said that though the coalition had lobbied major stakeholders, it was still open to further negotiations.
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