“Nigeria has a female population of approximately 49%, but women hold only 3.6% of parliamentary seats,” her letter read.

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The Adinya Arise Foundation (AAF) has asked President Bola Tinubu for help in advocating for female representation in National Assembly leadership elections.

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Mabel Ade, the AAF’s Executive Director, made the appeal in Abuja on Saturday via a letter.

Plea For Female Inclusion In Leadership

It was titled, ‘Urgent call for support in promoting female inclusion in Nigerian leadership roles.’

In the letter addressed also to all governors and National Assembly members, Ade sued for an unopposed female candidature.

She believes they should be appointed at the very least to the role of deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.

She said that AAF, a non-profit organisation is dedicated to improving gender equality in Nigeria.

They were very worried by the country’s ongoing under-representation of women in critical leadership roles.

Ade regarded the scenario as a serious loss for the nation’s progress and dignity, as well as a setback for female equality.

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ADE’S ANALYSIS

“Nigeria has a female population of approximately 49%, but women hold only 3.6% of parliamentary seats,” her letter read.

“This is far below the 35% recommended by the National Gender Policy in 2006 and the global average of 25.5 percent.

“In the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, Nigeria ranks 139th out of 156 countries.

“This indicates a wide disparity between men and women in various aspects of life.

“The consequences can be seen in the plethora of issues that women confront in society.

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“This issue includes; maternity and child mortality, poverty, gender-based violence, and food insecurity.”

She stated that the challenges were frequently ignored or poorly addressed by policies and programs.

These policies are primarily planned and implemented by males, with little or no participation from women.

Gender-Responsive Governance  

According to Ade, this threatens the rights and well-being of women and girls, as well as the country’s general progress and prosperity.

She said, “With the upcoming elections for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly, we at AAF are championing the cause of female inclusion.

“We believe that having more women in positions of leadership will improve the quality and diversity of decision-making.

“It will encourage gender-responsive governance and inspire more women and girls to pursue leadership positions.

“As a minimum step toward achieving gender parity in politics, we are therefore calling for an unopposed candidacy of a woman as Deputy Speaker, if not Speaker.

“The organisation recognised that its efforts alone would not result in the desired outcome.

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“As a respected leader and champion of women’s rights, we need your advocacy and support.

“We humbly request that you utilize your power to persuade other influential individuals to support a female candidate in the upcoming election.

“I request the president’s assistance in lobbying for qualified women and young people to be appointed to federal and state government positions.

“This is necessary to compensate for women’s gross underrepresentation in elective positions.

“It will ensure that the voices and perspectives of women are adequately reflected in policy formulation and implementation.

“The foundation was confident that with the president’s support, significant progress toward gender equality in Nigeria would be made.

“This would contribute to restoring the country’s dignity on the international scene and improving the lives of Nigerian women and children,” she said.

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