The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has lamented low percentage of women representation in the National Assembly.
As the group disclosed that only 24 out of the 36 states in the federation have women as representatives in the National Assembly.
Chief Executive Officer of NWTF, Mrs. Mufuliat Fijabi made this disclosure during an interface with stakeholders on institutionalising anti – corruption and accountability, held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
Fijabi expressed concern over some geopolitical zones like the northwest which are not represented in the current national assembly.
At the event were gubernatorial candidate of National Interest Party (NIP), Mrs. Bolanle Sarumi Aliyu, representatives of various political parties in the state among others.
Fijabi while speaking said that the organisation was surprised to discover that “twelve out of the thirty six states of the federation did not elect women as lawmakers during the 2015 general elections.
“The implementation of gender equality commitments at the national, regional and international levels is necessary to achieve the advancement of human rights principles, gender equity and women’s empowerment.
“As Ethiopia makes history with its first female president and a 50-50 male and female cabinet, Nigeria since has never recorded more than 11% representation of women in elective position and this was in 2007.
“Currently, there sre only about 5.6% of women in elective positions at the national parliament”
According to her some houses of Assembly do not have women at all, thereby appointing men to take charge of committee for women affairs to deal with issues that affect women and children.
“For example, on the issue of maternal mortality, it would have been very good and professional to have women who go through the process bring their inputs into this kind of decision processes.”
Fijabi, however, suggested a political will on the part Nigeria as a government and the people as well as a level playing field for women actively in decision making positions.
Founder of Shaffaudeen in Islam, Professor Sabit Olagoke, urged religious leaders to groom their followers on the inclusion of women in leadership process.
According to Olagoke,”The advocacy for gender balancing is entrenched in the scriptures, both in the holy bible and the Quran.”
Resident Electoral Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Oyo State, Barrister Mutiu Agboke, urged political parties to chart the course of women by nominating them into elective positions and as well support them to victory.