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Bill to create 74 additional seats for women passes second reading

A invoice to create 74 seats for ladies within the federal parliament handed second studying within the Home of Representatives on Tuesday.

The invoice, launched by Vice-President Benjamin Kalu and 12 others, seeks to amend Articles 48, 49, 71 and 117 of the 1999 Structure (as amended) to create one “particular seat reserved completely for ladies within the Senate and the Home of Representatives for every state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.”

The invoice will come into impact after the time period of the present Nationwide Meeting expires and could be revised each 16 years.

The invoice additionally proposes to amend Article 91 of the Structure to offer for 3 particular seats “reserved completely” for ladies within the state Homes of Representatives.

Joshua Gana, a member representing Lavun/Mokwa/Edati Federal; Constituency, Niger State and co-sponsor of the invoice, led the controversy and stated the proposed regulation will handle the “deep imbalance and under-representation of girls within the Nationwide Meeting and at sub-national ranges”.

Gana added that the invoice “is anchored on the basic precept of equal illustration and is aimed toward empowering girls by guaranteeing that their voices are usually not solely heard but additionally actively contribute to shaping the legislative panorama and the general growth of our nation. The problem of gender equality and illustration is on the very basis of our constitutional democracy,” he stated.

He lamented that though the Structure ensures equal rights, girls's illustration within the legislature is “alarmingly low”.

He continued: “Within the seventh, eighth and ninth Assemblies, girls accounted for six.4 p.c, 6.1 p.c and a pair of.7 p.c of the Senate respectively; and 6.4 p.c, 3.05 p.c and 4.7 p.c of the Home of Representatives respectively.

“These statistics underscore the pressing want for proactive measures to make sure honest illustration and amplify girls's voices in our legislative homes at nationwide and sub-national ranges.

“The reasoning behind this modification is predicated on the ideas of equity and inclusivity.

“Nigeria lags behind the world when it comes to girls’s illustration in parliament and is among the many lowest. International locations which have applied affirmative motion, resembling Rwanda and Andorra, have made important strides in the direction of gender equality in governance,” he stated.

In his contribution, Home spokesperson Akin Rotimi stated there was a “broad consensus” for extra feminine illustration in parliament.

Home Minority Chief Kingsley Chinda supported the invoice, saying Parliament should right the shortcoming.

He stated, “We’ve got to make a acutely aware effort to unravel issues the place we see them.”

Kelechi Nwogu from Rivers echoed Chinda's argument, saying girls ought to be given a “higher probability” in politics.

Ghali Tijani, a Member of Parliament from Kano State, stated political events mustn’t reserve particular seats for ladies however ought to put in place mechanisms to reinforce girls's participation in politics.

Olamijuwonlo Alao Akala of Oyo, Patrick Umoh of Akwa Ibom and Billy Osawaru of Edo additionally opposed the invoice, saying it was opposite to the provisions of the Structure.

The same invoice was mentioned within the plenary session of the ninth session, however was not adopted in both chamber of the bicameral system.

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