OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja
Stella Oduah, senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District, has disclosed that the Senate will soon reintroduce the bill for 35 percent affirmative action for women as ministers as well as 20 percent for women as commissioners in states.
Oduah stated this on Thursday in Abuja at a press conference as part of activities commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day.
Oduah who chairs the Senate Committee on Integration and Cooperation, pointed out that the Bill which was rejected by the Senate in July 2017 in the constitution amendment exercise, would be reintroduced and forwarded to the 36 state assemblies for endorsement.
Last year, the proposal failed at the upper legislative chamber as it received only the votes of 49 senators, instead of the 73 required to ensure success.
But speaking on the matter, Oduah who is also the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs, said: “The President of the Senate has made that promise and all senators are in agreement, they have concurred to that. It is the right thing to do, and it is way overdue. The United Nations has made it very clear that when progress and empowerment is anchored on women, then there would be a more progressive society.
“Everybody should press for women to emerge, not just politically but in every way. Therefore all activities that have to do with women, we must make sure that we bring them to the front burner. That should be everybody’s campaign”.
The lawmaker who is the President, ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA), added that: “Gender should not be an obstacle, it has not been and it must not be an obstacle. The glass ceiling has been broken many times and we must make sure we smash it.
“My message to Nigerian women today is that they should keep hope alive, they must participate fully and should not allow themselves to be discouraged by anybody”.