Abuja, Nigeria – Women in Nigeria want their full representation in the ongoing constitution amendment review as lawmakers commence sitting this Wednesday.
They voiced their demands at a conference of women in politics forum held in the Federal Capital City, Abuja. The forum which was attended by the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, United Nations Women representative to Nigeria as well as other stakeholders is a consultative meeting with CSOs to assess the 1999 constitution from a gender perspective and reflect on the possible amendments to increase women’s political participation and leadership.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen mentioned that the women are demanding short and long term strategies to ensuring their equal representation in governance such as statutory quotas and reserved spaces to be applied across board.
The minister also advocated for the existence and implementation of constitutional provision for federal character representation.
In her remarks, the United Nations Women representative, Ms Comfort Lamptey, noted that the 1999 Nigerian constitution failed to consider inclusion of women’s political participation.
Lamptey stressed that more than ever civil society organizations, government and international development partners have a role to play to ensure equal representation.
The women noted in the conference that women’s participation in politics compared to their counterparts in Africa is abysmally low.
INEC National Commissioner present at the event, Taiye Okoosi Simbine, noted that using data available from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suggests that participation of women in politics from the 2019 general elections has worsened.
Also speaking at the event, Women in Politics Forum Founder, Barr. Mrs Ebere Efendu said:
“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 legal document supporting gender quota. We have countries like Cameroon, Ghana, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Africa, etc”.
Osaze Isesele, a REPORTS AFRIQUE reporter and writer also spoke to some of the women who vowed to continue to press for their demands.
The forum was organized by the the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, UN Women, Women in Politics with supports from the Sweden Embassy in Nigeria.
Minister lauds UN Woman Police Officer of the year awardee
In a tweet posted on her official Twitter page, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen, has celebrated and congratulated the United Nations Woman Police Office of the year awardee, Chief Superintendent, Catherine Ekwutosi Ugorji.
Catherine was selected as one of the best woman police officer out of the 1,300 Police operatives deployed in the UN peacekeeping operation and she was noted to possess leadership skills that have been remarkable.
Reports say her proactive abilities have been instrumental to the Malian security forces in reducing crime.
Catherine who serves at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was the runner-up for the prestigious UN Woman Police Officer of the Year award for 2020.