Constitution Review: Rep seeks increased women inclusion in governance

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Rt Hon [Barr] Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives, has called for more women inclusion in the appointment and legislative offices, to improve the image and development of the country.

She made the call as she chaired the South-West Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of the 1999 Constitution organised by the House of Representatives Special Committee, on Tuesday in Lagos.

Onyejeocha, member of, House of Reps Ad-hoc Committee, Review of 1999 constitution, said the current level of women’s inclusion and participation in politics was terribly low.

She said this was not palatable, particularly at this time when all hands, both male and female, were needed on deck to move the country to greater heights. Onyejeocha noted that there were only eight women in the Senate, about 13 in the House of Reps, with reports indicating that up to 15 States of the federation do not have women in their State Assemblies.

“Women’s political participation is an issue that is of interest to Nigerian women and civil society groups and I believe we can do better.
“The Speaker, my humble self and over 100 House members have proposed a bill to adopt a temporary measure to create special seats for women in the National Assembly and State Assemblies.
“This is expected to be for a number of years and to encourage the growth of numbers and participation of women in politics.
“This is not novel as many other countries, including sister African countries, have also adopted the same measures.
“We look forward to supporting and submissions on this issue as well as on other issues affecting women, young people, children and the vulnerable groups,” she said.

Barr Onyejeocha, of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), represents Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia.

The review committee is considering over thirty constitutional alterations bills which border on Electoral matters, Local Government, Judiciary and Fundamental Human Rights.

Others include gender equity, increased participation of women, vulnerable groups in governance, immunity as well as indigenship and residency.

Also, devolution of power, strengthening the independence of institutions, traditional institutions, State and Local Governments creation as well as Legislature and legislative bureaucracy among others.
Vanguard News Nigeria

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