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NEW CABINET: NAWOJ WANTS 35% AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ACCOMPLISHED

By NBF News
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Nigerian women have asked President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that he accomplishes the 35 per cent affirmative action in all appointive positions for women. They also called on the president to support any qualified female member of the House of Representatives for the position of speaker.

In a press statement to newsmen in Abuja by the National President of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Asabe Baba Nahaya, the women stressed the need for the appointment of more women into office. She stressing that 'in the Senate, a woman has never occupied a principal officer rank, and in the outgoing 6th National Assembly, seven out of the eight female senators were committee chairperson, out of 56 standing committee while some of their male colleagues chair more than one committees.'

'In line with the ongoing negotiations with the ruling party and the National Assembly, it is imperative to draw the attention of Mr. President to fulfil his pledge for the 35 per cent in all appointive positions for women by also supporting the candidature of any qualified female member for the position of speaker of the House of Representatives,' she stated.

She further noted that though, some progress were recorded when a female member held the post of deputy chief whip before becoming the speaker in 2007 while other principal offices such as House leader, chief whip and strategic and majority of committee chairmanship were given to male representatives. 'Of the 27 female representatives, only five are chairpersons out of the 85 standing committees of the House of Representatives,' she said.

According to them, the success of the just concluded elections across the country could not have been possible without the massive turnout of Nigerian women who voted overwhelmingly during the elections.