From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, has said the National Assembly, through the Constitutional Amendment Committee, would make quota system for women a constitutional provision to increase their participation in politics.
Omo-Agege stated this yesterday, at a roundtable of Policy Makers and Stakeholders on Female Participation in Politics organised by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), with support from EU, in Abuja.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Women Affairs, Omasan Agbajoh, the lawmaker added that this would cover both the legislative and executive positions at the Federal and state levels in order to meet up with global best practices in terms of gender participation in the affairs of the nation.
He said that the measure had become imperative because over the 21 years of Nigeria’s democracy there had been slow upward advancement of women in politics.
“We also intend to make a woman’s indigeneship by marriage a constitutional issue.
“The positions would include those of legislators, ministers, ambassadors, headship of MDAs and state commissioners.
“We are not stopping there, there are a couple of existing and coming legislations and policies meant to remove as much as possible the clogs that hindered the full self-development of women.
“It is hoped that with such obstacles removed and opportunities for enterprise enhanced, women will be even better prepared for far-reaching endeavors in politics at all levels including the presidency.”
Meanwhile, a representative of the European Union (EU), Alexandre Borges, Deputy Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that since the inception of democracy in Nigeria over 21 years, there has not been a female governor in the country.
He expressed optimism that the electoral reform would be a good moment for laws to be enacted to support increased women participation in politics in Nigeria.
He urged political parties to open up female representation adding that the mission would continue to partner with stakeholders to advocate for increased women participation in Nigeria.
In addition, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Aisha Dukku, said that work was on to change the narrative and ensure that women get the rightful positions and guarantee increased women at the national and states assemblies.
Dukku noted that the meeting was apt as it would help generate ideas that could be added to the electoral amendment bill especially with the public hearing holding on Dec.9,2020.