By Sola Ogundipe
A coalition of 35 women groups has petitioned President Mohammadu Buhari over the need to appoint cabinet comprising 35 per cent female ministers in fulfillment of the 35 per cent affirmative action.
In their petition entitled “35 per cent Female Ministers Will Be a Legacy Worthy of You”, the Coalition, led by the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund, Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, WARDC, and the Women in Politics Forum among others, urged the President to heed the request in national and global interest.
“Mr President, we write to gently remind you of your meeting with female parliamentarians and at the Advocacy Summit of 30 August 2018 where the implementation of 35 per cent affirmative action was raised.
“You assured us of your full support because according to you this will ‘improve the representation of women in our politics.’ You said ‘women are dedicated and more principled and that you are confident women can make great leaders’.
“You said Nigerian women are resilient and dedicated to their responsibilities. You desired ‘an enabling environment for women to participate in the political process as women constitute more than fifty percent of voters’. We thank you for your honesty and belief in Nigerian Women.
“As you begin to put your cabinet together and make appointments across parastatals and agencies, we urge you Mr. President, to create a worthy legacy and appoint 35 per cent women across all boards. We believe that a step in this direction is critical now, given the fact that women representation in governance is as low as 4 per cent.
“You will be remembered for restoring true democracy to our dear nation and ameliorate lack of women in elective positions while achieving a Sustainable Development Goal for Nigeria. You will restore our faith that a more inclusive society that works for every citizen is possible under your leadership. Nigerian women are hopeful of your commitment towards fulfilling the promise for inclusion,” the Coalition asserted.