Fred Itua, Abuja
Former minister of Aviation and senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Stella Oduah, disclosed on Thursday that the Senate will soon reintroduce an ‘Affirmative Action’ gender quota bill of 35 per cent women representation as Ministers, and 20 per cent as Commissioners in states.
Oduah stated this in Abuja at a press conference as part of activities commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day.
The lawmaker, who chairs the Senate Committee on Integration and Cooperation, pointed out that the bill which was rejected by the Senate in July 2017 during the constitutional amendment exercise, would be reintroduced and forwarded to the 36 State Assemblies for concurrence.
Speaking on the matter, Oduah who is also the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs, said: “The President of the Senate has made that promise and all senators are in agreement, they have concurred to that. It is the right thing to do, and it is way overdue. The United Nations has made it very clear that when progress and empowerment is anchored on women, then there would be a more progressive society.
“Everybody should press for women to emerge, not just politically, but in every way. Therefore, all activities that have to do with women, we must make sure that we bring it to the front burner. That should be everybody’s campaign,” the senator said.
She added that “gender should not be an obstacle. It has not been and it must not be an obstacle. The glass ceiling has been broken many times and we must make sure we smash it.
“My message to Nigerian women today is that they should keep hope alive, they must participaye fully and should not allow themselves to be discouraged by anybody.”