IWD: Foundation tells NASS to embrace gender equality
The African Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) has called on the National Assembly to embrace gender equality to engender the needed national development in the country.
The Executive Director AYGF, Dr Arume Salifu, in a statement made available to the press on Tuesday being the International Day for Women, said the National Assembly’s action was a setback in the work of mainstreaming women in the country’s governance.
The National Assembly had rejected all the bills relating to gender issues during the voting on the amendments to the 1999 Constitution on Tuesday 1st of March 2022.
“As representatives of Nigerians, we were not only shocked but disappointed by the National Assembly’s actions in refusing to grant assent to five bills that had the greatest interest of women at heart in promoting and mainstreaming at the centre stage of governance, political party participation, and entrenching their place in society.
“The advocacy by Civil Society Organisations CSOs and women groups over the years was not heeded to by those constitutionally voted to protect the interests of some,” he said.
He further stated that the greatest impairment to the process was the denying of 35 per cent appointed positions for women and settling for 20 per cent, the denying women’s affirmative action in party administration and leadership; and the obstruction of seats for women in the National Assembly amongst others.
Dr Salifu said as the 2023 elections draw nearer it would have been a wonderful opportunity to test and implement these key changes to our polity so that Nigerian women can feel not only a sense of belonging but contribute their intelligence and brilliance to national development.
He called on the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency look for ways to redress the anomaly and in the future ensure they make proactive laws in the interest of not only women but Nigerians in general.
By rejecting the gender bills, the men of the 9th National Assembly have been accused of taking Nigerian women backwards.
Over 100 female support groups in a statement said the actions of the federal lawmakers undermined the importance and relevance of women’s contribution to governance.
Nigerian women have also been besieging the National Assembly to express their disappointment at the actions of the 9th Assembly.