2011 Election: Nigerian Women Insists on 40% Representation or Nothing

Ahead of the 2011 general elections, Nigerian women have insisted on 40 percent representation in political positions in government houses, ministerial appointments and legislative houses.

Consequently, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with other women groups are already planning a national political summit in the first quarter of 2010. The seminar is aimed at strategizing for active participation of more women in politics.

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, who made this known during her 2009 National Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja, said the decision was aimed at broadening the ownership of gender equality principles that would enhance wide implementation of the national gender policy is now in the offing.

Speaking on the ministry’s achievement in the first three quarter of the year, Mrs. Suleiman said the ministry has launched its Website to enhance operations and ensure adequate and uninterrupted engagements with various stakeholders all over the world.

She said: “Of specific significance is the recent passage of the Nigerian Disability Act 2009 by both the Senate and the House Representatives at separate sittings. What remains is the endorsement of the document by a joint sitting of the two chambers before Presidential assent, which is expected anytime from now.”

She also disclosed that her ministry in partnership with the universities of Abuja and Benin have signed a memorandum of understanding that would enable them run Masters Degree (MA) programme in Gender and Peace Building, which is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2010.

While commenting on why the suspension of debate on the Bill to Domesticate the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women was stood down by the National Assembly, Mrs. Suleiman announced that efforts are being made through series of meetings with stakeholders to reintroduce the bill and ensure its successful passage.

Also speaking, the Country Representative of UNICEF, Dr. Suomi Sakai, commended the ministry on the passage of the Child Rights Act which has been passed in 23 States, and called on the remaining 14 states to hasten the passage of the Act.

She urged the government to ensure that every Nigerian child has access to the basic standard of living as well as ensure that the next generation is gender sensitive.

Earlier, Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akuluyili, who chaired the occasion, had disclosed that government was committed to the implementation of regional and international obligations towards the advancement of women especially the African Union Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality, in the country. (END)


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