The Adinya Arise Foundation (AAF) has appealed to President Bola Tinubu support on advocacy for a female inclusion in the National Assembly leadership elections.
The Executive Director of AAF, Mabel Ade, made the appeal in a letter titled “urgent call for support in promoting female inclusion in Nigerian leadership roles’’ made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.
Ade in the letter copied to all governors and elected-members of National Assembly called for an unopposed female candidacy of at least the position of deputy speaker of the House Representatives.
She said that AAF, a non-profit organisation devoted to advancing gender equality in Nigeria, was deeply concerned about the persistent under-representation of women in key leadership roles in the country.
Ade described the situation as not only a setback for gender equality but also a significant loss for the nation’s development and dignity.
“Nigeria has a female population of about 49 per cent, yet only 3.6 per cent of seats in parliament are held by women.
“This is far below the 35 per cent affirmative action recommended by the National Gender Policy in 2006 and the global average of 25.5 per cent.
“Nigeria also ranks 139 out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, indicating a wide disparity between men and women in various aspects of life.’’
Ade said that the effects were evident in the myriad of challenges that women face in the society, such as maternal and child mortality, poverty, gender-based violence, and food insecurity.
She said that the issues were often neglected or poorly addressed by policies and programmes that were largely designed and implemented by men, without adequate participation of women.
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This, according to Ade, undermines the rights and well-being of women and girls, as well as the overall progress and prosperity in the country.
“In light of the upcoming elections for the Speaker/Deputy Speaker positions in the National Assembly, we at AAF are championing the cause for female inclusion.
“We believe that having more women in leadership positions will enhance the quality and diversity of decision-making, promote gender-responsive governance, and inspire more women and girls to aspire for leadership roles.
“We are therefore calling for an unopposed candidacy of a woman as Deputy Speaker, if not Speaker, as a minimum step towards achieving gender parity in politics,’’ she said.
Ade said that the foundation understood that its efforts alone were not enough to bring about the desired change.
“We need your advocacy and support as a respected leader and a champion of women’s rights.
“We kindly urge you to use your influence to lobby other influential individuals to support a female candidacy in the upcoming election. ‘’
Ade also called on the president’s support in advocating for competent women and young people to be appointed into positions by federal and state governments.
“This is necessary to make up for the gross underrepresentation of women in elective positions and to ensure that women’s voices and perspectives are adequately reflected in policy-making and implementation.‘’
She said that the foundation was confident that with the president’s support, significant strides would be made towards achieving gender equality in Nigeria.
This according to her will help in restoring the nation’s dignity on the global stage, and improving the lives of Nigerian women and children.(NAN)
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