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Women celebrate 35% affirmative action ruling, make demands

The women added that they will not rest on their oars as the judgement births the need to intensify our advocacy for inclusiveness in Nigeria at the national, state and at local government level, especially after the poor representation of women emerging from the just concluded 2023 general elections.

Nigerian women on Wednesday celebrated one year anniversary of victory on 35 per cent affirmative action upheld by a court of law on April 6 2022.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Nigerian Women Trust Fund and eight co-plaintiffs

According to the statement, the case was first heard on December 2, 2020, at the Federal High Court Abuja and 16 months after, on April 6, 2022, the hope of Nigerian women and the next generation of girls was reignited.

The landmark judgement upheld and mandated the implementation of the provisions of the National Gender Policy (2006) on 35 per cent affirmative action in appointive positions.

The court also upheld the equality of the sexes and the constitutional mandate to recognize gender in all appointive positions. In effect, it clearly means that Nigerian women are now accorded 35 per cent affirmative action as a matter of right in line with democratic ethos.

However, the NWTF noted that the matter was appealed by the Federal Ministry of Justice Abuja in July 2022 in contradiction to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s (retd.) acceptance of the judgement through the Minister of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs at the world press conference on April 14, 2022 at Treasure Suites Abuja.

The women demanded that they should be allowed

to enjoy the dividend of democracy as equal citizens of Nigeria.

They also demanded that the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, implement the judgement of the court in all appointive positions in his cabinet.

The statement read in part “We, therefore, demand that the Ministry of Justice withdraw its appeal and allow Nigerian women to enjoy the dividend of democracy as equal citizens of Nigeria. We use this opportunity to call on the outgoing Nigerian government, to put value where value belongs and follow through with the implementation as demanded by the judgement.

We also demand the immediate implementation

of the judgement of the court by the presidentelect Bola Ahmed Tinubu in all appointive positions in his cabinet. We call on him to set up an implementation framework for the enforcement of this landmark judgement and we demand for all parastatals, agencies and ministerial appointments to henceforth be in compliance with the National Gender Policy.

“We further demand that the 10th Assembly acknowledge that truly Nigerian women are equal citizens in Nigeria whose rights deserve to be honoured by passing all the gender-related bills hitherto before the 9th Assembly.”

The women added that they will not rest on their oars as the judgement births the need to intensify our advocacy for inclusiveness in Nigeria at the national, state and at local government level, especially after the poor representation of women emerging from the just concluded 2023 general elections.

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