New Telegraph

10th Assembly: Women Groups Demand Deputy Speaker, Other Key Positions 

The Women groups under the aegis of Leaders of Women’s Movement in Nigeria, have once again demanded that Deputy Speakership of the 10th National Assembly, and other key positions be reserved for women.

The women who expressed displeasure over the zoning arrangements of the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) for the 10th Assembly leadership, said it was a huge disservice for women to be always shut out of major political calculations.

At a Press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the groups noted that while successive governments have failed to meet the 35 per cent affirmative action in all appointive positions, it would be more injurious for the 10th Assembly to exclude qualified women from key positions.

One of the group’s leaders, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi,  said the women have engaged States governors and other political actors, on the need to allow qualified women lawmakers to demonstrate their capabilities in different leadership positions.

Akiyode-Afolabi also disclosed that women groups will continue to mount pressure on political parties, the presidency and all stakeholders, to robustly include women in all political schemes.

In a speech, read by EQY Anazonwu, the women said, “We demand the inclusion of women among the Presiding officers, and main Principal Officers of the Nigerian Parliament either Speaker or as Deputy Speaker House Of

Representative. There are qualified and ranking women among the elected National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly.

“That woman from both houses are elected to chair Grade A committees. More resources be allocated to pursue an equal society.

” 35% affirmative action in all appointive positions It is vital for legislatures to reflect the rich tapestry of their constituents. By consciously repositioning

the few elected women, legislatures can benefit from a wide range of perspectives and experiences, leading to better decision-making, fairer policies, and a stronger democracy.

“It is the reality of the day that gender equity is critical to sustainable development, and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. Having women serve as parliamentary

presiding officers and Principal Officers would contribute tremendously to inclusive governance and national development in the next dispensation”.

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