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Ministerial nominees: Women representation inadequate for inclusive governance – NGO

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An NGO, Blossom Africa Initiative, on Saturday said that the percentage of women in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s list of ministerial nominees was  inadequate for inclusive government.

In a statement in Lagos, the President of the group, Mr Temitope Musowo, urged Buhari to include more women in his cabinet.

According to him, seven women out of 43 ministerial nominees presented to the Senate by Buhari on Tuesday for screening, represent only 16.3 per cent, and is inadequate.

He said that the number was below the 35 per cent  affirmative action for women representation in governance.

According to him, the situation will deny the country fresh ideas and unique contributions women are capable of bringing into governance.

“This list ran foul of the principle of gender equality as obtained in Goal 5 of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to which Nigeria is a signatory.

“While we are still struggling over 35 per cent in Nigeria, some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa such as Rwanda, Senegal have gone past 35 per cent, Rwanda is already doing 50 per cent and more.

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“You can can see the difference in those countries that are giving women more opportunities in government; this is because of the unique contributions and flavour women bring into governance.

“Women are passionate about education, health; they are good in mediation and conflict resolution; when you exclude them in governance, you deny the society all these,” Musowo said.

He urged women to go beyond singing in political rallies and challenge institutional  and cultural factors  that limited their potential.

Musowo said: “I know power is not served free, it is fought for.

“Women need to push themselves forward especially into elective offices, where their fate will be largely determined by their fellow women who form the larger percentage of the electorate.

“Meanwhile, since the list has been submitted already, we still have appointment into MDAs; the president still has the opportunity to include more women, youth and people with disabilities to leave a worthy legacy of an inclusive government.”

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He added that there was the need to give legal backing to gender equality in government appointments and political offices by ensuring an electoral gender quota for women.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ministerial nominees are currently undergoing screening by the Senate. (NAN).

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