FIDA Nigeria Demands Equal Representation of Women at All Levels of Governance & Leadership in Nigeria
FIDA Nigeria Demands Equal Representation of Women at All Levels of Governance & Leadership in Nigeria: Enjoins Reconsideration of All Gender Responsive Bills Rejected By The Senate.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers has strongly demonstrated support for legislative frameworks that supports the rights & attainment of women into leadership positions & other affirmative aspirations. This has been evidenced through her well-known participation at the public hearing forums organized by Joint National Assembly Constitution review committee in the six geo-political zones. FIDA Nigeria’s position through her memorandum was on gender affirmative actions and creation of special seats for women at both the National & States Houses of Assembly. We had gone further to eulogise the Joint Committee for taking into consideration our memorandum, upon which the various gender-responsive bills were submitted to both the Senate & Federal Houses of Representatives for ratification.
Despite this giant stride towards promoting gender inclusivity in leadership which we had recorded, we were dismayed on the 1st of March 2022, a date which will always be remembered in our nascent democracy, when most members of the Nigeria Senate at the Senate Chambers voted against the following Gender-responsive Bills submitted for its consideration:
a) Bill No 35. A bill for an act to provide special seats for women in National & State House of Assembly
b) Bill No 37, A bill for an act to provide for affirmative action in political party administration
c) Bill No 36, A bill for an act to expand the scope of citizenship by registration
d) Bill No 38, A bill for an act to provide criteria for qualification to become an indigene of a state in Nigeria.
Based on the majority votes from these members, these gender responsive bills whose beneficiaries are mainly women were rejected. The implication of this rejection indicates there is no proportional representation for women at the parliament, women are denied 35% affirmative action in party administration & leadership positions, denial of affirmative action of women into appointed positions , denial of indigene ship by women of their husband’s state after 5 years of being together, denial of citizenship to the foreign-born husband of a Nigerian women amongst others, which has made the struggle for an egalitarian society most inevitable.
a) We urge all like-minded civil society organisations, women led organisations & women’s right’s organizations to sustain advocacy and intensify demands for Gender equality and opportunities by occupying the National Assembly until the rejected bills are considered
b) We call on the Nigeria Senate to as a matter of urgency reconsider consideration of these gender responsive bills
We hope that these sustained advocacy measures will enable the National Assembly in general & the Senate in particular to retract from these patriarchal dispositions towards giving women equal opportunities through reconsideration of these bills even as we commemorate the International Women’s Day on 8th March 2022.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Amina Suzana Agbaje(Mrs)
Country Vice President/National President