Women in Politics (WIP) have expressed worry over the low representation of women in the ministerial list released by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday for his second tenure.
The President of Woman in Politics, Ebere Ifendu in an interview described the development as a new height of misrepresentation when compared with the 49.4 percent of Nigeria’s population formed by women.
Ifendu said women were not happy with the nomination list though the few women listed were women of character and integrity who had done well for the society. But the number is low and very poor.
“We are saying we have many more women that should also be part of this list considering the promise the president made to women.
“He said he will work with the Nigerian gender policy which is about affirmative action, so what happened to the promises he made to women?’’
Ifendu said there is a need for the president to fulfill that promise due to the already low number of women in elected offices after the 2019 elections.
She said that 2,970 women contested elections into different positions in the 2019 general elections but only 67 got elected across the nation.
Ifendu said a breakdown of the elected members showed that no woman was elected as president, vice president or governor while only seven were elected to the Senate.
She said that 12 were elected to the House of Representatives and 44 to the State Assemblies with about 11 states without a female member.
Ifendu said that the Nigerian women went to the elections with high expectations but the overall level of representation of women in politics remained a cause for concern as their number continued to dwindle.
Correspondingly, the former governorship candidate in Osun State, Mercy Ayodele said “Women have once again been marginalized”
“The highest people that vote are women. But when it comes to sharing positions, we take the back seat. We suggested a minimum of 15 women on that list.”
However, the new women nominees are: Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna), a former finance minister; Paulen Talen (Plateau) a former deputy governor; Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra), the Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); and Maryam Katagun (Bauchi), Nigeria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.
Others are Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi), former All Progressives Congress (APC) women national leader; Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara), former federal lawmaker; and Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara), the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFRMI).