A group, Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has urged federal government not to receive the judgement on 35 per cent Affirmative Action for women as a defeat, but should rather take it as a call for action to carry along almost half of the country’s population in the day to day activity of government.
The 35 per cent affirmative judgment was delivered by Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja recently and allows women to occupy 35 per cent of all political positions in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Mufuliat Fijabi while speaking on the sideline of a capacity building programme organised on the platform of National Institute for Leadership and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (NILEVAWG) in Abuja, described the judgement as a victory for women born and unborn.
She explained that the journey towards the judgement started in April 2019, which caused NWTF to involve other eight women-based groups to join in the agitations in order to have a stronger voice and achieve result.
“Being an institution sets up with mandate to close gender gap in government, it was important that we take more strategic steps, and one of that was to seek for the interpretation of the meaning of non discrimination in the constitution on Section 42 and to also to look at why the government is not implementing the 35 per cent affirmative action in the 2006 National gender policy that Nigeria has adopted as a national policy.”
Fijabi, however, urged government to obey the judgment by doing the needful and not to consider appeal as an option.
On the capacity building held for over 50 young females across the 36 states of the country, Fijabi explained that it was part of the move to end violence against women and girls, which she said has been a major setback in the fight for women emancipation.
NILEVAWG is an initiative of the NWTF aimed at empowering young women to connect their voices on actions for ending violence against women and girls.
She further lamented rising incidence of violence against women and girl, noting that training programme was important to build young women who are able to connect and take very important actions against the scourge.
“Violence against women and girls has been a barrier that impacts in women’s ability to emerge as leaders. With NILEVAWG, we are strengthening and encouraging young women to connect for actions in order to reduce the culture of silence in the situation of violence against women and girls,” she said.
Fijabi also charged government to deploy more resources towards the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015, towards ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book.
Culled from THISDAY