Group kicks against Senate’s rejection of 35% affirmative action for women

Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin
An NGO, Women Arise for Change Initiative (WA), on Friday, expressed dissatisfaction over the Senate’s rejection of 35 per cent affirmative action for women appointment into federal and state cabinets.

Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of WA, expressed the feeling in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Okei-Odumakin said the rejection of the proposal in the bill for further amendment of the 1999 Constitution, amounted to rejection of women in policy and decision making process in the country.

According to her, such exclusion of women in the scheme of things is responsible for slow growth and development in the country.

She said that allowing more women be part of decision making process would guaranteed more progress in the country’s political and economic spheres.

NAN recalls that the Senate, in July, voted against the proposal for 35 per cent affirmative action for women in the bill for the alteration of the constitution.

A total of 49 of the 96 senators present during the electronic voting on the bill supported the proposal.

The proposal failed as it came short of 73 votes it needed to succeed.

However, the House of Representatives voted in favour of the provision.

Okei-Odumakin said: “The Nigeria political leaders are not yet ready to open up the space for women participation in policy and decision making process.

“It is so sad that the senate could reject this at this critical stage of our country’s democratic development.

“The National Gender Policy provides the framework for lobbying for affirmative action of at least 35 per cent for women in leadership and decision making.

“This administration assented to this at the beginning of governance.

She further said that the deterrent for women in achieving the 35 per cent affirmative action in appointive and elective positions had always resulted from internal squabbles in party politics.
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