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CSOs task incoming administration on passage of Gender Bills to law

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CSOs task incoming administration on passage of Gender Bills to law

Some Civil Society Groups in Nigeria have called on the incoming administration to, as a matter of urgency, pass the Gender Bills into law to enable more women inclusion in governance and strategic appointive positions.

The CSOs made the calls as part of their expectations from the incoming administration in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

VMT NEWS reports that the proposed Gender Bills were a move for constitutional inclusion of Gender/Women’s Rights.

The bills include Special seats for women in the States’ House of Assembly, Expansion of the scope of citizenship by registration and Affirmative Action for women in political party administration.

Others are Indigeneship Rights and Affirmative Action in Ministerial and Commissioner appointments.

VMT NEWS also reports that the eight years tenure of President Buhari will come to an end on May 29 while the incoming administration of the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu will commence on May 29, 2023.

Speaking, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin urged the incoming administration to, as a matter of urgency and for posterity sake, support the passage of the Gender Bills.

Okei-Odumakin also called on political actors to engage women in its programme implementations and strategies.

According to her, Tinubu must be deliberate about the implementation of 35 per cent women affirmative action plan into his cabinet through appointment.

“The government must put in strategic places of governance, women as we are less exposed to corruption.

“This was demonstrated by the appointment of Prof. Dora Akunyili, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Dr Oby Ezekwesili and the likes to various ministries and agencies of the government.

“It is women that can adequately advance their own causes,” she said.

On his part, Mr Mark Amaza, Senior Communications Officer, Yiaga Africa, tasked the president-elect on good governance across board by hitting the ground running immediately.

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He said: “They need to prove that they would be the better choice even after the election which is the only means of delivering on good governance.

“Government has a National Gender Policy that specifies 35 per cent of position for women.

“It is not just about running for office. We expect that he put consideration for women.

“Allotting strategic position goes a long way in achieving inclusion in governance.

“We hope this government is more inclusive to women and young people because they hold the largest number of population,” he said.

Similarly, Ms Emmanuella Azu, Head of Programme, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), called on the incoming administration to sign the National Gender Policy.

“We hope that the Bola Tinubu administration can meet up to 35 per cent affirmative action for women.

“By so doing, it would push Nigeria up the ladder on the gender equality index.

“Nigeria ranks 154 on the gender equality index out of 186 which is very low.

“The countries that Nigeria actually ran above are countries like Iran, Iraq, and Sudan.

“Therefore, it would be a welcome development and it would also push Nigeria forward.

“So, we hope and expect that the new government would take meaningful measures in place to ensure quality representation of women in their appointments,” she said

Azu also urged the incoming 10th National Assembly to ensure affirmative action for women in political party administration to enable participation and voice.

“A bill that sought to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of a Nigerian woman.

“Allocating at least 10 per cent affirmative action to ministerial appointment positions.

“While the fifth proposed bill sought to ensure indigeneship rights to women to avoid the discrimination and violence women suffer in a bid to participate effectively in society,” she said.

Azu also tasked the  incoming Tinubu administration with ensuring that the sexual harassment bill is signed into law.

She, however, charged women to continue to raise their voices and not take the back seat.

VMT NEWS reports that the CSOs also tasked the incoming administration on improving security, education system, health, social services and all other sectors that Nigerians need for attention.

They also called on the need to priortise and look at critical issues that would impact Nigerians positively through various reforms.

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