Reps push for 50% female lawmakers

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Osinbajo, group seek end to sexual, gender-based violence
The House of Representatives Committee on Women in Parliament and Women Affairs had demanded 50 percent of elective positions for women in the country. At a summit in Abuja entitled ‘Women Week Roundtable’ organised by the Committee on Women in Parliament, headed by Taiwo Oluga (Osun, APC), Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) and the European Union (EU), the lawmakers said 50 percent representation should be the minimum in the next general election, in line with the 1999 Constitution.

United Nations (UN) affirmative action document seeks at least 35 per cent political representation for women. Oluga, in her address, regretted that women were facing extremely strenuous hurdles to represent their communities in parliament, as she urged for radical reforms.

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Wunmi Onanuga, in her presentation, stressed that instead of the 35 percent Affirmative action plan, which is yet to be attained, the country should scale it up in the 2023 polls, in line with the constitutional requirement of “equality among genders”.

Oluga, who acknowledged the quality representation of Deputy Whip of the House, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who was also at the event, urged political parties and the government to do more for the female gender.

“From the theme of this Roundtable Discussion, it is important that there is need to improve women’s participation in politics and governance in Nigeria. The Theme is in itself is an admission of low level of women participation in politics,” she said.In another vein, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for collaborative efforts to tackle of gender-based violence, especially rape and sexual assault, on women.

Speaking at the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women tagged ‘Generation Equality Stands Against Rape’ and the commencement of 16 days of activism against such violence, Osinbajo said there was need for strategic support from partners to end the ugly trend.He called on partners like the EU, British Council and UN agencies to form strong response teams for effective response to sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Also, a non-governmental organisation, Women Supporting Women Network (WSWN) has called on government at all levels to enact laws that would end violence against women and girls across the federation.

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The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape’.Founder and president of the group, Mrs. Toyin Omozuwa, in a statement made available to The Guardian in Abuja yesterday, also condemned as barbaric the recent gruesome murder of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Women Leader in Kogi State, Mrs. Salome Abuh, on November 18, 2019, following the recent governorship election the state. According to her, the UN set aside November 25 to enjoin governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to raise public awareness on violence against women.

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