Senate President, Emir of Keffi, others urge lawmakers to pass women special seat bill

2 months ago 25

Advocacy for women special seats in the 37 parliaments across Nigeria got a boost, with the call from the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan supported by Emir of Keffi, HRH Dr Shehu Usman, Yamusa 111 and other Nigerian men, who said the move would advance Nigeria and it’s democracy further.

They said this at the Nigerian Men’s Conference on Gender-Sensitive Constitutional Reform organised by a coalition of concerned NGOs held in Abuja.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, said the agitation of women for special representation in parliaments across Nigeria was one that required consideration for its immense benefit to Nigeria.

He said: “The agitation for more women in politics is a Iong standing one, needing a continuous consideration for us to achieve success and reap its benefits.”

The President of the Senate was represented by Senator (Prof.) Dame Moro Ladi Daduut, Plateau South Senatorial District

He joined the array of men at the event to urge legislators across the country to pass the bill for the special seat for women to allow for proportionate representation and to galvanise development nationwide.

The traditional ruler of Keffi, His Royal Highness, Dr Shehu Usman Chindo Yamusa 111, and Chancellor of Nasarawa State, University Keffi, said the continual denial of women from proportionately participating in politics and decision making, was counter-productive, to national growth and development.

“On this note, I want to be more objective to advise my fellow brothers to see this conference as our responsibility to support the electoral or gender-sensitive reform as to help women grow politically and remove a” roadblocks and marginalization of women in all democratic activities.

“Distinguish participants, let me make this appeal to both official and non-official stakeholders present and proxy, in Nigeria and beyond to give women their electoral recognition.

“Their refusal is tampering with their rights. I quote from the civilized adage ‘denial of women in the electoral processes is a total rape on our’ nascent democracy.

“On the use of poor strategies to threaten the intentions of women’s participation in politics, I task all politicians who subscribe to these stringent cultures of stopping women to be active in the electoral processes and decision making to desist from this archaic way of behaviour.

“It’s very important to call on the leadership of all political parties in Nigeria and beyond, to include in their manifestos certain reserved positions for women and must be noticed in the crusade of making women more inclusive, participative than being passive in politics.

“It is quite worrisome that political parties don’t give special preference nor reserve elected and non elected positions to the women.”

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, said the fate of the Nigerian woman was in the hands of the legislators in the 37 parliaments of national and state level and urged them to live up to their pledges.

“She said Nigerian women are counting on you. We call on all our male allies to assist with building political support for gender-sensitive constitution alteration bills in the National Assembly, especially the bill to create additional seats for women on the Federal, and State Legislatures.”

In her struggle for inclusive governance, the Nigerian woman has initiated several processes which included six bills before the national assembly.

The bills which seek the alteration of the constitution, to create special seats for women in the federal and state legislative houses as a temporary measure to promote women representation and subject to a review after every four general election cycles of sixteen years, for the purpose of either retaining, increasing or abolishing the temporary measure.

The others are to include the right to freedom against physical, sexual or psychological violence; exclude any action taken or policy or programme implemented from being considered unconstitutional; to provide for gender diversity in the legislative leadership and executive positions at both the federal and state levels.

The others included bills seeking to allow for gender diversity in appointive positions at the federal level; gender balance in executive committees of political parties and to include gender diversity as a benchmark for Federal Character.

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Senate President, Emir of Keffi, others urge lawmakers to pass women special seat bill

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