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Women Cry Out Over Non Implementation Of 35% Affirmative Action In Southeast

Photo: Enugu Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

From  Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Women in Southeast Nigeria, have decried the continued under representation of their folk in positions of authority in the five states of the zone, blaming the development on political leaders non implementation of the 1995  Beijing women conference on 35% Affirmative Action. 

They noted that aside the southeast states, the situation has remained the same in other parts of the country, including the federal level, appealing to the Nigerian media to always portray a balanced, objective reportage on women.

Addressing a media conference Wednesday in Enugu under the platform of South-East female political leaders network, the group in a communique, said “women in governance in the modern era are generally under represented worldwide, is in  non longer no news .

“Women have had inadequate opportunities in social participation, especially in striving for political rights and power in the government and different institutions. This my historical tendency still persists  although, women are increasingly being political elected to be Heads of states of respective nations.

The communique which emanated from a 3- day workshop organised for women in leadership in the zone, by a non governmental organization, Alliance for Africa, (AFA), in partnership with the United Nations (UN) women fund for gender equity, they posited that the non implementation  on of the 35% affirmative Action has remained a cog in the wheel of progress in the region and country at large.

According to the communique, which was read to newsmen on behalf of the group by a two time member of the Abia state House of Assembly, Dr. (Mrs) Blessing Nwagba, explained that that key objectives of the  workshop were to discuss and understand the concept of mentoring, the importance, and how it can sustain continuity of female political leadership.

The women regretted that only seven out of 43 women were recently  appointed as federal Ministers in the president Mohammadu Buhari led administration, adding that the story is not also palatable in the  executive and legislative arms of governments in the five states of south east Nigeria, including the local government administration.

They however, pointed out some factors and complex challenges that have been militating against women participation in Nigerian politics such as, poor political party internal democracy,k gross violation of women’s human rights and defenders, rights perpetrated by religious extremism, and the blatant abuse of universal human principles in the states, among others.

The communique, also stressed the need for the reformation of the nation’s electoral process, with a view to providing a level playing field for women to effectively participate in all stages of the electoral cycle, both elective and appointive .

The women had also resolved to “support the quest for affirmative action and proportional representation systems in all southeast states government and political parties.

Finally, we are grateful to UN women for supporting Alliance for Africa (AFA), to organize the workshop to build our capacity , and the opportunity to link the mentees to mentors.

 

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