The Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) has faulted the National Assembly in Nigeria over the rejection of bills seeking to improve participation of women in governance.

The federal lawmakers, on 01 March, 2022, voted against more seats for women in the federal and state legislatures, indigeneship rights for married women, and citizenship by registration for non-Nigerian men married to Nigerian women.

The other bills were 35 percent affirmative action for women in political party administration, and reserved quota for women in cabinet positions.

In its reaction to the rejection of the bills, the civil society organisation (CSO) said Nigeria was still far from achieving substantial and effective women’s participation in political processes and decision-making.

PLAC noted that equal participation of women and their access to positions of political leadership and decision-making at all levels are fundamental for achieving much needed economic growth and a well-functioning democracy.

‘Women occupy a meagre four [percent] of seats in the National Assembly. [15] state assemblies do not have a single woman in their composition, yet these are spaces where everyday issues affecting citizens, half of which are women, are discussed and decided’, PLAC said in a statement.

The issue of participation of women in politics is of such importance that the United Nations (UN) identified gender equality as a mainstay of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’, the SDG five reads.

With the goal to increase the level of women’s participation in politics, the UN, through concerted efforts, has been encouraging countries to reserve at least 30 percent of seats in their national parliaments for women.

While Africa’s most populous country is far from achieving the UN goal, countries like Rwanda (61.25 percent), South Africa (46.35 percent), Senegal (41.82 percent) and Ethiopia (38.76 percent) have shown a good example of increasing the level of women’s participation in politics.

PLAC called on the National Assembly to take urgent measures to remedy the current situation.

Source: PLAC

Photo source: Abuja Facts


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