The National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Stella Okotete has called on Nigerian lawmakers to hasten and pass the gender issue bills or risk losing support from Nigerian women.
Okotete, in a statement, expressed dissatisfaction with the National Assembly, noting that none of the five bills that concern women that were brought before the floor of the house were not even considered.
“It is with an utmost heavy heart that we express our regrets on the failure of the National Assembly for rejecting all bill related gender issues during the voting on the amendments to the 1999 Constitution on Tuesday 1st of March 2022. Constitutional reviews are a unique opportunity for countries to rectify anomalies in how they are governed but the recent amendments fell short of the expectations of the entirety of Nigerian women
The statement went on to say: “Our disappointment beyond all reasonable doubt stems from the following 3 key points:
- Denying 35 percent appointed positions for women and settling for 20 percent;
- Denying women affirmative action in party administration and leadership; and
- Denying specific seats for women in the National Assembly.
“As the 2023 elections draw nearer this would have been a wonderful opportunity to test and implement these key changes to our polity so that Nigerian women can feel not only a sense of belonging but contribute their intelligence and brilliance.
“Since the return of democracy Nigerian Women have been at the forefront of supporting Nigeria’s democracy structures. Every election cycle they have come out in huge numbers to vote and contribute their quota to the democratic experiment.
“Nigerian women have oftentimes been recipients of the violence that had come from elections and political processes that have failed.
“This was a unique opportunity that the National Assembly had let slide and has indeed turned back the hands of time in our democratic experience. It is in our view that Nigerian women deserve better and should not continually be treated as second-class citizens but as equal partners in nation-building.
“Nigerian lawmakers should urgently revisit this faux pas in order to redress this great injustice meted to Nigerian women or risk losing the support of the bulk of Nigerian women. The bedrock of democracy inequity and Justice.
“There has been no equity nor Justice in the disenfranchisement of the Nigerian women as done by Nigerian lawmakers. We seek immediate redress.”