Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, slammed the National Assembly for rejecting five bills seeking affirmative action and inclusion of women in politics and other spheres of the society.
The governor, in a statement, said: “The recent developments at the National Assembly, in which five bills seeking affirmative action and inclusion for women were vehemently shut down by members, is most regrettable and unsettling.
“This is because the Legislature is the bastion of democracy and a critical platform for fair representation and inclusion in government.
“It is therefore painful and unconscionable that these bills, which provide a fillip for accommodating women, who make up more than 50 per cent of the voting population, are subjected to such sorry fate.”
He noted that Edo State have a healthy mix of women in the cabinet, as women occupy more than 30 per cent of positions of commissioners and special advisers in government.
Describing their contributions as invaluable, the governor said that at the senior cadre of the civil and public service, women make up more than 50 per cent of the permanent secretaries.
Stressing that the Assembly missed a golden chance, he said: “It is heartbreaking that the National Assembly members missed a golden opportunity to redesign Nigeria’s political landscape by enshrining landmark legislation that promotes inclusion and provides women with the legal backing to gain equitable representation at the apex level of lawmaking and political participation.
“Our administration has continued to provide women with the opportunity to take up important roles in governance and they have proven to be excellent managers of human and material resources.
“I, therefore, lend my voice in calling on the National Assembly to reconsider its decision and take proactive and affirmative action in providing more opportunities for women to participate in politics, governance and all spheres of human endeavour,” he stressed.