The Committee had recommended the creation of 111 additional legislative seats in the National Assembly
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria has lent support to a recommendation by the Joint Senate and House Committees on Constitution review which will allow greater women representation in the legislative arm of government.
FIDA stated this in a release obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday by Amina Suzanah Agbaje, the National President of FIDA Nigeria and Christiana Oyanvutu Adejumo, the National Publicity Secretary.
The Committee had recommended the creation of 111 additional legislative seats in the National Assembly and two additional seats per senatorial zone in state Houses of Assembly and the Federal Capital Territory which will be solely occupied by women come 2023.
Reacting in the statement, the group said it is laudable that the committee made such recommendation though it fell short of the 35% affirmation demand obtainable in major democracies.
FIDA urged both the National and State Houses of Assembly to ratify the committee’s recommendation. It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to grant assent.
The statement reads partly, “FIDA recognises these recommendations from the committee as a step in the right direction even though it falls short of the 35% affirmation demand obtainable in major democracies.
”We have observed that from the advent of democracy in Nigeria, Women’s participation in the elective positions has been minimal which has significant and multi-dimensional implications for the democratic project in Nigeria and her continuing quest for gender equality in Africa’s biggest economy.
”We note this recommendation to be a major improvement from the present scenario where only 21 out of 469 seats in the present National Assembly are occupied by women.
”This has placed the nation as the worst performer in the West African Region when looking at the representation of women in parliament, and the second-worst after Eritrea in the whole of the African Continent.
”Furthermore, at the sub-national level only 45 seats of the 990 seats in all State Houses of Assemblies are occupied by women which constitutes about 4.5% of elected representatives.
“As the 2023 general elections get closer, we kindly call on the National and State Houses of Assembly to ratify the committee’s recommendation and for the President to grant assent towards improving inclusivity of vulnerable and marginalised groups including women in the political process and Governance in Nigeria.”