NIGERIAN WOMEN DEMAND PRESIDENT TINUBU TO UPHOLD 35% WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENTS
By Jerry Igbugh,
The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to fulfill his campaign promise of having at least 35% women on his ministerial list. During a zoom media conference organized by Women Radio 91.7, Mufuliat Fijabi, the Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, expressed concerns over the recent appointment of special assistants and personal aides by the President, where only 25% and 15% of women were appointed, respectively.
Fijabi emphasized that other African countries have made significant progress in women representation and called on the new administration to uphold the 35% affirmative action. Amina Agbaje, the National President of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), stressed the need for gender equity and transparency in the president's list. Agbaje called on women groups to approach the First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, to lobby for the consideration of the 35% quota system for women in ministerial appointments.
Ladi Bala, the National President of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), highlighted the critical role of media engagement in advocating for the 35% affirmative action. Adewummi Onanuga, the Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives, expressed confidence in President Tinubu's ability to fulfill his promises. Similarly, Jamila Babuba, the APC Professional Women North East Coordinator, expressed assurance that the president would appoint at least 35% women in his cabinet.
Chikas Kumle, a social justice advocate, stressed the importance of women's inclusion in government and urged President Tinubu to include at least 35% APC women in his ministerial list. Zainab Abdulrasheed, the Programmes Officer of Women's Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA Nigeria), emphasized the significance of inclusive advocacy on behalf of marginalized and excluded voices in implementing the 35% affirmative action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Saka Azimazi, a former Deputy Director of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), called for grassroots advocacy and male support to achieve affirmative action for women at all levels of government. Enebi Opaluwa, a Senior Research and Policy Analyst at BudgIT, decried the absence of women in policy-making processes in Nigeria.
The APC campaign action plan for a better Nigeria had promised to increase women's participation to at least 35% in all government positions. However, no government since the Fourth Republic has achieved the appointment of 35% women as ministers. The Nigerian women now demand President Tinubu's commitment to fulfilling this promise and ensuring adequate representation of women in key positions of power.