Dr Betta Edu, incoming National Women Leader
Dr Betty Edu, National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress(APC), says she is confident that women will enjoy 35 per cent affirmative action under President Bola Tinubu.
Edu, who made this known in an interview with Newsmen in Abuja, said she had no doubt that the present government would support women to achieve their full potential.
According to her, the president will continue his support for women as he has always done.
“Women can be rest assured that they will be given the right seat at the table.
“They will be given 35 per cent affirmative action from the President.
“Beyond that, women will be empowered from the grassroots all the way up,” she said.
On the inauguration of the president, the national women leader said she believed that Tinubu would make the difference.
She said the time for politics was over, adding that “Nigerians should come out enmasse and work with President Tinubu across party lines.
“We are done with politics. It is time for governance.
“The president said he asked for the job and promised to get it done properly.”
Recall that during campaigns, Tinubu said he will work with the National Assembly to pass a law to increase women’s participation in government to at least 35 per cent, if elected.
Tinubu, in his 80-page manifesto document titled “Renewed Hope 2023 – Action Plan for a Better Nigeria” said the law will seek employment of female in all government offices.
According to the manifesto, members of the Federal Executive Council are to reserve certain senior positions for women while the private sector will be encouraged to do same.
“Working with the National Assembly, we will aim to pass legislation promoting female employment in all government offices, ministries, and agencies. The goal will be to increase women’s participation in government to at least 35 percent of all governmental positions.
“This legislation shall also mandate the federal executive (particularly the cabinet and core senior advisers) to reserve a minimum number of senior positions for women. Private institutions shall be strongly encouraged to do likewise,” he said.
On April 6, 2022, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the federal government to enforce the National Gender Policy by allotting 35 per cent of appointments in the public sector to women.
Nine civil society organisations had filed the suit against the Nigerian government on 24 August 2020, seeking the implementation of the 35 per cent Affirmative Action in appointments of women into public office.
The plaintiffs include: Women Empowerment & Legal Aid (WELA) Initiative, Nigeria Women Trust Fund (NWTF), International Federation of Women Lawyers, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD -West Africa).
The rest are: Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Vision Spring Initiatives (VSI), Women In Politics Forum (WIPF), 100 Women Lobby Group and YIAGA Africa.
Delivering his judgment in the, Justice Donatus Okorowo, agreed with the plaintiff that Nigerian women had been subjected to various forms of discrimination concerning appointments into key positions of government.
Referencing Section 42 of the Nigerian constitution as it relates to the suit, the judge upheld the plaintiff’s contention to the effect “that of all the 44 ministries, there are only about six female gender, and that the situation is worse in other MDAs and agencies.”
Justice Okorowo noted that the defendant, by its conduct, insinuates that there are no competent and reliable women that should be appointed to “stop the apparent male dominance as witnessed in the appointments” of men into key government positions.