Helpline Foundation decries low female ministerial nomination

An Abuja based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, has decried the low number of women on the ministerial nominee list President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded to the Senate for screening.

Speaking to journalists, Sunday in Abuja, President of the Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, noted that though there was marginal increase in the number of women when compared to the last cabinet, the ministerial list fell short of global best practices and below the expectation of Nigerian women. 

Ahmadu, who is one of the conveners of Africa Women’s Conference, expressed dissatisfaction over what she described as “overbearing influence of male politicians” in Nigeria.

She urged president Buhari to take action on existing commitments and obligations with respect to the realisation of gender equality in line with Commission on the Status of Women, CSW 62 Bureau by appointing more women as heads of agencies and parastatals.

“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari, for the marginal progress made by scaling-up female ministerial nominees to eight when compared to four in the last cabinet, we are still not happy with the overbearing influence of male politicians in Nigeria.

“We say this with all sense of responsibility that all the registered political parties in Nigeria fell short of our expectations. From the primaries to the general elections, women were not given the opportunity to excel.

“As one of the conveners of Africa Women’s Conference in New York and Namibia, we have stressed the urgency of eliminating structural barriers and discriminatory laws and policies, gender stereotypes and negative social norms to enable rural women and girls to respond to challenges and seize opportunities for change.

“This objective can only be achieved with the appointment of more women in key positions. Sadly, this is not the case with the ministerial list before the 9th Senate. However, we are hopeful that President Buhari will right the wrongs by appointing more women as heads of key agencies and parastatals,” she stated.

She commended the Senate for the respect accorded female nominees during the screening.

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