From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Minister of Women Affiars, Pauline Tallen, has commended the 9th National Assembly for considering passing into law the a bill to create special seats for women in the Federal and States Legislative Houses which has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
Sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejiocha, the bill seeks to alter the 1999 constitution to push through more political representation for women, to reverse low representation in elective offices for years
The bill would create an additional Senate seat from each state and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a seat to be exclusively contested by women.
In a statement she personally signed and made available to the press, Tallen, said Nigerian Women are today standing tall because of the historic milestone recorded in the demand for more political space for women.
She said women will continue to pray for the 9th National Assembly as they await final reading and passage into law of the bill.
The minister said: “Nigeria Women today stand tall and in solidarity as we send warm felicitations to the 9th National Assembly on this historic milestone recorded in our demand for more political space for women.
“I want to on behalf of Nigerian Women to salute the Leadership of the 9th National Assembly, especially the Senate Led by the President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan and the House of Representatives Led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
“The year 2021 represents a great milestone in our advocacy for increasing the participation of Women in governance and decision making as a Bill to that seeks to create 111 additional Special Seats for Women in the National Assembly has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
“Sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejiocha, when passed into law, 37 additional seats will be created in the Senate and 74 in the House of Representatives for Women. The Bill also provides that one additional member from each of the three senatorial districts in the State will be created exclusively for women in each State House of Assembly. “This Bill is expected to serve as a remedy to the low representation of women in legislative houses by providing additional separate seats to be contested and occupied by only Women in the National Assembly and State of Assembly.
“As a temporary measure to promote women’s representation, the Bill is expected to be subjected to a review after four general election cycles of 16 years for the purpose of retaining, increasing or abolishing the temporary measure.
“As we await the final reading, we will not rest on our oars in praying for them and we will continue to pray for them.
Long live the 9th National Assembly
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The Senate is made up of 109 seats from across the nation, while the House of Representatives is made up of 360 seats.