Affirmative Action: FIDA Nigeria Commends the Courage, Sagacity, And Legal Willpower of The Judiciary
The Landmark judgement delivered by the Federal High court on Wednesday, 6th of April 2022 upholding and implementing the provisions of the National Gender Policy of 2006 regarding the 35% Affirmative Action in appointive positions and upholding the equality of the sexes in all appointive positions, is one that has carved a niche in the history of our nation’s jurisprudential antecedents.
FIDA Nigeria commends the courage, sagacity, and legal willpower of the judiciary in taking a pivotal step such as this, and further salutes the courage, resilience and leadership of the judiciary as this is indeed positive progress towards a more gender equal world.
We applaud and acknowledge with gratitude the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) for igniting this process via litigation, and the effort, courage, perseverance and resilience of the other Co-Plaintiffs in this suit, particularly the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs; Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA); Women in Politics Forum (WIPF); Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa); Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC); Vision Spring Initiatives (VSI); YIAGA, Africa; 100 Women Lobby Group; and a host of other brave women groups who shared the same vision for gender equality.
FIDA Nigeria as a co-plaintiff in this case, has been in the vanguard for the struggle in attaining gender equality and parity in all spheres, particularly in the socio-political space, as a lot of factors not limited to lack of political representation, lack of access to education, societal mindsets, customs, traditions, myths, and many others, restrict the woman’s ability to maximize her potential.
This erudite judgement coming on the heels of the International Women’s Month could not have been delivered at a better or more apt time, when women all around the world in solidarity with the theme of this year’s IWD #Breakthebias, envision a gender equal world, a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive for all. This year’s UN IWD’s theme posits a conscious effort to remove, stop, discontinue and erase all forms of prejudice against a group of people in a way considered to be unfair or discriminatory in nature.
As always, FIDA Nigeria shall not rest on its oars, nor relent in breaking the bias for a more equalitarian Nigerian society as encapsulated in its objectives. We shall continue to push for the reconsideration and re-presentation of the Bills jettisoned by the 9th Assembly, which Bills were aimed at promoting gender equality in the socio-political space. The rejection of those gender sensitive Bills undermined the relevance, input, and valuable contributions of Nigerian women to nation building.
FIDA therefore calls for the equitable and fair treatment of women in the socio-political arena devoid of any form of discrimination, prejudice, disadvantage, partisanship, unfairness, injustice, intolerance, sexism, pre-judgement, or bias rooted in gender.
FIDA Nigeria remains resolute in carrying out its objectives, noteworthy of which is “To advocate for legislation that will promote the advancement and protection of women and children”.
Together in unison of voice and shared vision, gender parity in Nigeria can be achieved and actualized.
Long live the Nigerian Woman!
Amina Suzanah Agbaje, Esq.
Country Vice President/CVP