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Implement 35% affirmative action, Group tells FG

Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Alliance for Africa, AA, has called on the Nigerian government to take a cue from other African countries and address the poor representation of women in political leadership.
Addressing journalists at a workshop on the full implementation of 35 percent affirmative action in public governance in Enugu,yesterday, the Executive Director, Alliance for Africa, MsIheomaObibi, also urged the National Assembly to pass the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill which supports equal participation and representation of women and men in decision making processes.
Obibi called on the federal government to prevail on political parties to bridge the gender gap by mainstreaming gender in their internal party policies.
She also urged government to promote gender equality in the political sphere and in decision-making processes at local and national levels.
The executive director urged government to demonstrate a clear roadmap of implementing and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, especially the one on gender equality.
She said the organization is bothered that as the 2019 general elections approaches, the present political dispensation had the lowest representation of women in public office.
“Nigeria as a member of the United Nations signed and ratified various relevant international instruments, treaties and conventions without reservation. These instruments have always emphasized that member nations put in place the necessary mechanism needed to eliminate gender discrimination, ensure equality and human dignity to all, men and women.
“In Nigeria, no woman has ever become president or vice president. The only first female governor in Nigeria, Dame VirgyEtiaba, only functioned as Anambra State governor for six months,’’ she said.
She cited some African countries where their governments had deployed the various instruments to shore up women participation in politics.
“We hereby call on the Nigerian government to emulate other African countries that have successfully addressed the under representation of women in political leadership immediately,’’ MsObibi added.
About 28 elected/appointed female politicians from the five South-Eastern states participated in the two-day workshop where they were encouraged to nurture and mentor younger women to participate in active politics in their areas.

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