June 11, 2024

Reps decry low participation of women in politics, task FG for more training’s

The Nigerian House of Representatives, on Tuesday, urged the Ministry of Women Affairs, to designate a department with adequate budgetary provisions, to help groom, train, and support women in politics.

This was, even as, the Green chamber also called on the education ministry at all levels, to design a curriculum in secondary schools, to encourage the inclusion of the role of women in political leadership.

This was sequel to a motion brought before the Parliament, on Tuesday, by the Member representing Port Harcourt II Federal Constituency of Rivers State, Hon. Blessing Chigeru Amadi.

There have been public outcries over the underrepresentation of women at both chambers of the National Assembly, since the beginning of the present dispensation.

As at today, the numbers of female Lawmakers stand at 16 out of 360 House of Representatives Members, while the Senate has 4 women out of the 109 Senators, as all female Senators in the 9th Assembly lost their return bids.

Leading the debate on the motion titled ‘Need to Provide Training and Support for Women in Politics’ during the Tuesday’s plenary, Hon. Amadi lamented that, there are a few women in political and leadership positions in Nigeria, with women holding less than 8% of seats in both the National and State Assemblies.

Hon. Amadi noted the importance of gender equality, and the vital role of women in political leadership and raising homes, which, she said, was the primary segment of the leadership moulding process.

The Lawmaker expressed worries that, societal factors such as, cultural or religious norms, marriage, indigene ship, etc, impede women’s participation and representation in politics, adding that, the full and equitable participation of women in public life was essential to building and sustaining strong and vibrant democracies.

She argued that, “education is no longer the ability to read, write, and calculate, but the ability to have problem-solving and critical thinking skills necessary to bring about any changes needed.

“Worried that, despite progress in recent years, women remain significantly underrepresented in political and leadership positions globally and Nigeria in particular.

“Also worried that in Nigeria, women don’t have equal opportunity and support to serve as political leaders and elected representatives, which is vital to Nigeria’s democracy.

“Cognizant that, to bring about any change in this disparity, it will require pro-active measures to equip women with the leadership skills, resources, and support needed to navigate the political

landscape, and effectively participate in decision making processes”.

The House therefore, mandated the Committees on Women in Parliament and Women Affairs, to liaise with the Ministry of Women Affairs and other relevant agencies to, as a matter of public importance, constantly organize trainings and seminars for women interested in running for political offices, especially women in rural areas, with the understanding that politics starts from the grassroot.

The House, which was made up of all male Lawmakers on Tuesday, as no female Lawmaker was in chamber, except Hon. Amadi; subsequently mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to monitor and ensure that the relevant agencies and authorities concerned comply with the resolutions.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, RT. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, who presided over Tuesday’s plenary, appreciated Hon. Amadi, for standing for women’s inclusivity and championing the participation of more women in politics.

Kalu also acknowledged the support from the male Lawmakers who overwhelmingly voted in support of the motion, describing them as ‘He for She’ Parliamentarian.