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Political positions: Women rue marginalization, demand legal framework

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Female political leaders in the Southeast have kicked against the continuous relegation of women to the background in elective and appointive political positions.

They, therefore, demanded the enactment of a legal framework that would define modalities for equal balancing of political positions.

The group, which operates under the aegis of ‘South East Female Political Leaders’, gave this hint as part of the resolution reached after their three-day workshop with the theme, ‘Sustaining political spaces for continuity as leaders through active participation and constituency projects involvement’, held in Enugu, organized by Alliances for Africa.

They advocated for a legal framework that would see more Nigerian women involved in partisan politics, either through elective or appointive positions.

The women group lamented that through party politics, it had remained ‘all men affair’ in most of the elections, adding that the high cost of the forms was another factor strategically used by the dominant political parties, the PDP and the APC to scare women away from the context.

They pointed out that Abia State was the worst hit as it had no elected female member of the House of Assembly.

Hon. Dr Blessing Nwagba, a former 2-term Abia state legislator, who read the communique noted that “The South Eastern states have only 3, 3 and 2 out of 27, 19 and 17 slots for female commissioners in Abia, Ebonyi and Imo states, respectively.

“Abia state has no female lawmaker to represent them in the House of Assembly, while Imo has 2 out of 27 lawmakers in the state. Women need to be in a position to represent and deliver the societal needs through governance.”

The women resolved that the affirmative action bill will be revisited and strengthened to achieve improved results in 2023.

“We are going to formulate actions. We will continue to put pressure, create awareness on the need for women to be more involved in politics for result oriented governance.

‘Women participation in politics in Nigeria is only four percent, while in many African countries like Rwanda, South Africa etc, the ratio has gone up to 36 percent. We must continue to seek ways of addressing the wrongs done to women in Nigeria,” Nwagba added.

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