Appointments: Foundation demands 35% affirmative action for women
By Bolanle Lawal
The Balm in Gilead Foundation for Sustainable Development (BIGIF) has called for 35 per cent affirmative action in political appointments at all levels of governance in Nigeria.
Its Executive Director, Ms Oluwatumininu Adedeji, made the call in the foundation’s request for 35 affirmative action in the political appointments in Ekiti, during a courtesy visit to Gov. Biodun Oyebanji.
Adedeji said that with the 35 per cent affirmative action the country would be able to get it right on Women’s Political and Administrative Rights.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a letter titled: REQUEST FOR 35% AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS IN EKITI, was presented to the newly constituted political appointment committee in Ekiti.
A copy of the letter was also addressed to Gov. Biodun Oyebanji and other stakeholders in the political sector in the state.
Adedeji recalled that BIGIF had, through its campaign, secured the commitment of all candidates at the election to fully implement the Ekiti Women Agenda when elected, which Mr Governor, who was the then candidate of the ruling party, subscribed to.
She said: “For our emerging democracy in Nigeria to be sustainable, all groups within the population must be actively involved in the governance process and their voices must be heard.
“And, their experiences and expertise must be utilised for optimal growth and development of the country.
“We must rise to break the bias that hitherto limit women’s participation in politics and governance process.”
The letter read in parts: “In August 2022, BIGIF presented the Agenda to the transition committee on invitation and the Governor, in his inaugural speech, clearly committed to women empowerment, gender equality and inclusive governance.
“Since inauguration, the Governor has not relented in the pursuit of his promises, particularly by enlisting qualified women into the service of the state through appointments.
“We welcome the constitution of your committee as a single largest and right opportunity to achieve 35 per cent of political appointments for women in Ekiti.
“In line with our mandate to promote women’s rights, we are calling on the committee on political appointments to priotise and facilitate the reservation of a minimum of 35 per cent of political appointments in Ekiti State for women as the Governor has charged during the committee’s maiden meeting.
“This is in consonance with the Governor’s electioneering and inauguration promises and to further implement the existing legal frameworks for gender equalit.”
The executive director said that with this, Ekiti would further set an unprecedented feat, far ahead of other sub-national governments.
According to her, this is after recording another first in women political representation at the House of Assembly election of March 18 where Ekiti emerged with the highest number of female elected lawmakers in Nigeria.
NAN reports that BIGIF is a registered woman-led non-governmental organisation that focusses on enhancing healthy living and promoting the rights of women, youths and children.
It is also a frontline organisation in the advancement of human rights, promotion of women participation in politics and the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria committed to partnering with the government for development