An Abuja-based nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Helpline Foundation for the Needy, has decried the low number of women in the ministerial list recently submitted to the senate for screening by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In an interview with newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, president of the foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, noted that though there is marginal increase in the number of women, when compared to the last cabinet, the ministerial list still felt short of global best practices and below the expectation of Nigerian women.
Ahmadu expressed dissatisfaction over what she described as ‘overbearing influence of male politicians’ in Nigeria, just as she urged President Buhari to take action on existing commitments and obligations with respect to the realization of gender equality in line with Commission on the Status of Women, (CSW 62), by appointing more women into agencies and parastatals.
She argued that if more women are appointed into some agencies and parastatals, it would create room for empowerment of rural women and girls, thereby bridging the gap of gender disparity in the country.
“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari, for the marginal progress made by scaling-up female ministerial nominees to eight when compared to four in the last cabinet, we are still not happy with the overbearing influence of male politicians in Nigeria.
We say this with all sense of responsibility that all the registered political parties in Nigeria felt short of our expectations. From the primaries to the general elections, women were not given the opportunity to excel.”
She also commended the senate for the respect accorded to female nominees during the screening by allowing them to take a bow and go, but called on the lawmakers not to extend such gesture to their male counterparts.
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