The Director General of the Nigeria Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, has urged Nigerian political, traditional and religious leaders to emulate Somalia by electing more women to the National Assembly.
Like Nigeria, Somalia operates a bi-camera legislature. Its 54-member Senate has 14 parliamentary seats occupied by women, representing 25.93 per cent, more than eight times higher than Nigeria’s parliament with 3.67 per cent of female senators.
The Nigerian Senate has only four female members.
In Somalia’s House of Representatives, there are 54 women out of 275 members.
Speaking when Somalia female parliamentarians paid a courtesy visit to NILDS headquarters in Abuja, Prof. Sulaiman decried the number of female lawmakers in the Nigerian federal parliament.
He said Nigerian women are frequently being held back from pursuing leadership roles due to pervasive cultural and religious reasons.
He urged political leaders, especially in northern Nigeria, to push for more women’s participation in governance.
The DG said, “In Nigeria, women are being marginalised as far as elected positions are concerned, especially from the northern part of Nigeria for religious reasons.
“I want to appeal to leaders in northern Nigeria to learn from Somalia’s experience, where women are being allowed to be part of governance, by ensuring more women participation in politics and governance.”