Constitutional Review – Groups Demand for Political, Socio-Economic Rights of Women

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African Resourceful Leaders Foundation (ARLF), a Civil Society Organization (CSO) based in Lagos has proposed that the National Assembly, through the constitutional review, should improve the political and socio-economic rights of women in Nigeria.
ARLF, on behalf of the Support to Advance Gender Equality (SAGE) coalition in Lagos, presented its position at the just concluded zonal public hearing on the constitutional amendment which was separately convened by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Presenting the coalition’s proposition, Michael Ogunshola, Director, Gender Equity, ARLF disclosed that, “women constitute about half of Nigeria’s population but occupy only about one in every ten elective and appointive positions in Nigeria. Women’s political representation in Nigeria has steadily declined since 2007, and risks declining further without support and action from political leaders.”
He went further to urge the National Assembly to adopt and pass the seven draft bills which have been proposed by the SAGE coalition, noting that, “it would be meeting the yearnings and aspirations of millions of Nigerians.”
Giving the details of the draft bills, Akangbe said they include; “an Act to Further Alter The Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; To Provide For Gender Equity in Executive Committees of Political Parties And For Related Matters; “an Act To Further Alter The Provisions of The Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; To Provide For Gender Diversity in Appointive Positions And For Related Matters.
“An Act To Further Alter The Provisions of The Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; To Provide For Gender Diversity In Legislative Leadership and Executive Positions And For Related Matters; an Act To Further Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; To Provide For Additional Seats At the National Assembly And State Houses of Assembly To be Shared In Proportionate Representation of the Political Parties And For Related Matters.
“An Act To Further Alter The Provisions of The Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; To Exclude Actions Taken To Promote Gender Equity In Political And Administrative Offices From Being Considered Discriminatory And For Related Matters; “an Act To Further Alter The Provisions of The Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; To Include Freedom Against /From All Forms of Violence Including Physical, Sexual And Psychological Violence As Part of Right To Dignity of Human Persons And For Related Matters.
“An Act To Further Alter The Provisions of The Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; To Include Gender Diversity As a Benchmark For Federal Character And For Related Matters. “
Akangbe ended by stressing that “women’s equal participation and leadership in politics are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030”.
Other CSO groups present at the Zonal Public hearings (senate and House of Representatives) also advocated for issues evolving around gender equality.
Present at the Zonal Hearing convened by the Senate in Lagos were Senator representing all the senatorial districts in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo as well as the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun, Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly representing the Rt. Hon. Mudasiru Ajayi Obasa.
Present at the Zonal Hearing convened by the House of Representatives were members of the House of representatives across Lagos, Ogun and Oyo; the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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