Women leaders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi on Tuesday advocated for 40 per cent affirmative action for both elective and appointive positions in 2019 elections.
This is part of the resolutions reached at the end of one-day summit of the APC Ebonyi women stakeholders held on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
The summit was hosted by a woman chieftain of the party and former Permanent Secretary in the state government, Mrs Ann Agomeze, who noted the need for increased allocation of elective and appointive slots to women to enhance their involvement in political leadership.
The 40 per cent affirmative action, the women said should come in both political party structure, nomination for elections and appointive offices.
Agomeze in her address of welcome said Ebonyi women must close ranks, unite, build synergy and work together to present a common front in future political engagements if they must make political progress.
She called on the traditional rulers, states and National Assembly to stop traditional, cultural practices and laws that inhibit women from effective participation in politics.
The APC chieftain also urged the women to register in large numbers as members with existing political parties and be active, urging them to participate actively in partisan politics.
“The Ebonyi APC women being critical stakeholders, for the purpose of fairness and equity, should be well represented in the local, state and National Assembly.
“The Ebonyi APC women are demanding for one senatorial, two House of Representatives and eight State House of Assembly slots in 2019 general elections.
“This translates to about 30 per cent representation and falls short of the 40 per cent being clamoured for by women all over the world.
“We should therefore, step up and ask for more representation as it is in line with Article 20 (iii) V of our party constitution,’’ Agomeze said.
She called on women to believe in themselves, unite and actively engage other stakeholders to contest for elective offices.
“For us to achieve the 40 per cent affirmative action calls for greatest unity and understanding among us.
“If we achieve this, it will enable us to direct our efforts at greater mobilisation, sensitisation, advocacy, opinion moulding, talent hunt and development of other aims and objectives,’’ she added.
Mrs Beatrice Nkwuda, Ebonyi Central Senatorial District APC Women Leader, who spoke on behalf of the other zonal women leaders, said that the call for 40 per cent affirmative action would motivate women to declare intentions for elective positions in 2019 elections.
She called on women to explore their unity and voting strength to demand for their right.
“The unity of women cannot be over emphasised because we know that it is women that make politics what it is; we make it colourful, we vote for our choice.
“With this call today women should come and also express their intentions as it affects 2019 elections; it is a call which cannot come at no other time than now,’’ Nkwuda said.
Contributing, the state Women Leader of APC, Mrs Ugoeze Uburu, said that the summit was coming at a right time.
Uburu said that time had come for women to take their rightful place by demanding for fair representation in both elective and appointive positions in Ebonyi.
She said that women would no longer be relegated and regretted that it was only the state women leader that was allowed in the State Working Committee (SWC).
The women leader described non-inclusion of more women in the sector as “gross marginalisation’’ of the women.
“This summit is an eye opener and a wake-up call for us; women have known their rights and they are ready to demand for these rights which will offer opportunity for fair representation in both elective and appointive positions,’’ she said.
The summit was attended by APC local government area women leaders, zonal women leaders and other key women stakeholders. (NAN)