From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Hundreds of women on Thursday demanded an increased affirmative action representation, saying that the present 35 per cent benchmark has been inadequate.
The women mobilised under various umbrellas to the Asaba centre of the South-South zonal public hearing on the proposed alterations to the 1999 Constitution.
Some of the groups drawn from Delta, Edo and Bayelsa states include 100% Lobby Women for Democracy and the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), participating in politics under the United Nations charter.
They agreed that the unity of Nigeria would depend largely on the outcome of the constitutional review.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Mrs Joyce Ogwuezi said an all-inclusive spirit must be registered in the review.
Ogwuezi maintained that certain sections of the Constitution must be expunged or re-amended to stop gender inequality.
She said Sections 48/49 must be reviewed to accomodate additional senatorial districts at the National Assembly for all states to be occupied by a woman each.
‘Since 2015, the 35 percent benchmark for the affirmative action for women in politics drastically dropped below 10 per cent.
‘The envisaged new constitution must truly reflect the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian women for their representation in politics,’ Ogwuezi said.
The public hearing is being presided over by Senator James Manager and supported by others senators.
Others include Senators Serieke Dickson, Peter Nwapboshi, Biobarakuma Degi, Matthew Urhoghide, Francis Alimikhena and Moses Clopas.