FIDA Nigeria Supports Creation of Additional Seats For Women At National & State Houses Of Assembly
FIDA Nigeria Supports Creation of Additional Seats for Women at National & State Houses of Assembly, Urges Sustained Action by Civil Society Groups on Its Ratification & Assent into Law.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria commends the recommendation by the Joint Senate and House Committees on Constitution review to create one hundred & eleven (111) additional legislative seats in the National Assembly and two additional seats per senatorial zone in state Houses of Assembly and the Federal Capital Territory which will be solely occupied by women beginning from the next general election in 2023.
FIDA recognizes these recommendations from the committee as a step in the right direction even though it falls short of the 35% affirmation demand obtainable in major Democracies. We have observed that from the advent of democracy in Nigeria, Women’s participation in elective positions has been minimal which has significant and multi-dimensional implications for the democratic project in Nigeria and her continuing quest for gender equality in Africa’s biggest economy.
We note this recommendation to be a major improvement from the present scenario where only 21 out of 469 seats in the present National Assembly are occupied by women. This has placed the Nation as the worst performer in the West African Region when looking at the representation of women in parliament, and the second-worst after Eritrea in the whole of the African Continent. Furthermore, at the sub-national level, only 45 seats of the 990 seats in all State Houses of Assemblies are occupied by women which constitute about 4.5% of elected representatives.
As the 2023 general elections get closer, we kindly call on the National and State Houses of Assembly to ratify the committee’s recommendation and for the President to grant assent towards improving the inclusivity of vulnerable and marginalized groups including women in the political process & Governance in Nigeria.
FIDA Nigeria was established in 1964 with main objectives to establish friendly international relations on a basis of equality and mutual respect for all peoples, preserve the rights and welfare of women and children, realising that the happiness of the home and the strength of the society is dependent on their wellbeing and proffer advice to Government in all cases of disregard relating to women and children.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje
Country Vice President/National President