From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading, a bill seeking to create a total of 147 special legislative seats for women in the national and state houses of assembly.
The bill, sponsored by Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and 85 others is seeking the alteration of Sections 48, 49, 71, 77 and 91 of the 1999 Constitution ( as amended), an additional senate seat and two House of Representatives seats exclusively for women, respectively, in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The proposed legislation is also seeking the creation of one addition seat for women in the 36 state houses of assembly across the country.
Onyejeocha, in her lead debate, said the bill is necessary to boost women participation in politics.
“Women have only 4.4 per cent representation in the 9th National Assembly. You may wish to note that Nigeria has been identified as the worst performer in women representation in parliaments, in West Africa and one of the lowest in the whole of Africa. This is evidenced in the most recent Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) ranking of women in parliaments where Nigeria ranks 179 out of 187 Countries Worldwide.Eritrea is the only African Country ranked lower than Nigeria and this is because there have not been national elections since its independence in 1993.”