The United Nations Women said it was disappointed that the bills considered for constitutional review concerning women participation failed to gather the required votes needed at both chambers of the National Assembly.
UN Women Representative in Nigeria, Ms Comfort Lamptey, in a statement by Faith Bwibo, Communications Specialist, UN Women Nigeria, urged the National Assembly to make laws that would ensure women have access to participation in public life.
She said Nigeria lagged behind African countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Tunisia, among others that had adopted constitutions and other national laws that provide for equal rights and opportunities, including the special seats or proportional representation system.
“In line with its standard-setting role as a leading democracy in Africa, it is time for Nigeria to heed the calls of half of its population and electorate, and to adopt similar measures that’ll ensure greater representation and participation of women in governance,” she said.
She acknowledged the “bold and progressive” decision of the Senate Constitutional Review Committee for inviting the UN Women to support the exercise.
She commended members of the Assembly who voted in favour of the bills related to promoting women’s rights.
“We acknowledge the Senate in particular, for its passage of Bill 36 related to the expansion of the scope of citizenship by registration and Bill 38 related to Indigenship rights. We also hail the House of Representatives for passing the Affirmative Action Bill in the appointment of ministers and commissioners.
“Today more than ever, the experiences and expertise of Nigerian women are needed in designing Nigerian laws and policies to make them beneficial to both female and male interests without exclusion or discrimination.”