Reps, UN sign MoU on women inclusion in governance

The House of Representatives has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Women on the need to increase the number of women in governance.

Speaker of the House, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas said on Thursday in Abuja that the partnership is to amplify the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill and the Bill on Women’s Parliamentary Seats.

Represented by his Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, Abbas said that the advocacy partnership will service as a tool to lobby other stakeholders especially the constituents for women inclusivity.

“So the advocacy should not only be within the people’s parliament alone, it should go beyond here to the rural areas for the constituents to know why we want to go this way.

“Let them see the comparative analysis between our country and other countries, let them see what we are missing by not going this route all this while and let them see what we are going to gain if we go this route,” he said.

He stressed the need to build the capacity of women and sensitise women to support female aspirants.

He also said that women should be encouraged to bring their best in contributing to national development and not to compete with men or be seen to be antagonistic to men.

Earlier, the UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong said that Nigerians are looking up to the National Assembly to address the problem of women underrepresentation.

She said that there are about 4 per cent of women elected to the National Assembly, and that there are only seven women serving in the 45 member federal cabinet.

She said that Nigeria is not doing well in the continental in terms of women representation in governance.

“This is the challenge we must all work together to surmount. You have demonstrated leadership, dedication and passion in this journey.

“UN Women is committed to walk this journey and to build a strong and sustainable partnership with your office and with the membership of the National Assembly,” she said.

Eyong said that the UN Women, with financial contribution from the Government of Canada and Norway had since 2019 supported strategic partnerships focusing on enhancing women’s political.

She said equal attention had also been given to economic empowerment, advancing the rights of women and girls, and strengthening women’s voice and leadership in development, peace, security and humanitarian response nexus among others.

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