The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) in collaboration with Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) and Voices for Change (V4C) held a conference to mark 2017 International Women's Day (IWD). The theme was 'From rhetoric to action: Gender champions speak for women's political inclusion'. The meeting was held between the 1st and 3rd of March, 2017, in Abuja.
Gender champions, including Federal and State legislators from all over Nigeria participated. At the end of the meeting, the delegation to Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and Political Party secretariats presented a Charter of Demands (CoDs). In precis form, the following are the women's demands:
*Women should be mainstreamed in political leadership at all levels - federal, state and local government. At least, 35% is demanded.
*Expunge the Delegate system in Political Party nomination. Option A4 is proposed for all card-carrying Political Party members.
*There should be 'gender rotation' around Senatorial Districts. Such seats should be 'rotationally' reserved for women.
*Expression of Interest and Nomination Form fees should be 'reasonable' for all prospective candidates. There should be a significant reduction in these fees.
*The NWTF should be adequately funded so that qualified female candidates could be supported.
*There should be Internal Party Democracy (IPD) to prevent the imposition of candidates.
*There should be a ceiling for funds candidates can expend on Primaries.
Some of the participants are:
*Barr. Ebere Ifendu - President WIPF
*Mrs Olufunke Baruwa - CEO NWTF
*Senator Binta Masi Garba
*Rt. Hon. Jumoke Akindele
*Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande
*Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello
*Iyom Josephine Anenih - Fmr. Minister, Women Affairs
*Prof Remi Sonaiya - Fmr. Presidential candidate (KOWA Party)
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Chairperson, Board of Directors, National Peace Summit Group (NPSG)
The presentation of the Charter of Demands to IPAC and Political Party secretariats was indeed a novel step. I hope IPAC and the relevant Political Parties would table same during their dialogue sessions for necessary action. As a peace advocate, I envisage that the eventual implementation of these demands would engender gender inclusiveness and equity for all...