Nigeria’s newly sworn-in President, Bola Tinubu, has promised to feature women and youth “prominently” in his administration.
Mr Tinubu said this in his inaugural speech shortly after his swearing-in on Monday.
He said, as contained in his party’s manifesto, he would ensure good representation of women and youths.
While women make up 49 per cent of Nigeria’s population, according to World Bank, they have mainly remained underrepresented in the political space throughout the country’s history.
Before his administration, Nigeria consistently ranked poorly on the global gender equality index, with failed gender bills, violence against women and girls, and poor economic participation.
In a 2022 report by the Gender Strategy Advancement International (GSAI), Nigeria ranked 181 of 193 countries on the Gender Equality Index for countries with low women representation in governance.
The results from the recent National Assembly election show only 17 women won out of 469 seats in the 10th Assembly.
However, Mr Tinubu raised the hopes of Nigerian women during his campaign, as he promised to work with the National Assembly to pass a law to increase women’s positions in government by 35 per cent if elected.
In his manifesto document titled “Renewed Hope 2023 – Action Plan for a Better Nigeria”, he said the law would seek employment of women in all government offices.
According to the manifesto, members of the Federal Executive Council are to reserve certain senior positions for women, while the private sector will be encouraged to do the same.
“Working with the National Assembly, we will aim to pass legislation promoting female employment in all government offices, ministries, and agencies. The goal will be to increase women’s participation in government to at least 35 per cent of all governmental positions,” he noted.
“This legislation shall also mandate the federal executive (particularly the cabinet and core senior advisers) to reserve a minimum number of senior positions for women. Private institutions shall be strongly encouraged to do likewise.”
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