By Chijioke Kingsley
Abuja (Sundiata Post) -. Since the judgment last Wednesday, by the Federal High Court in Abuja, ordering the government to comply with the 35per cent affirmative action for women, which allows women occupy 35 per cent of all appointments, there have been reactions from women leaders across the country.
Speaking with our correspondent at the weekend, the Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Plateau State branch, Barr. Ngozi Achilefu, called on the Federal Government to, without delay, obey the court ruling by implementing the affirmative action.
Achilefu said the 35per cent affirmative action which entails appointive positions for women to ensure inclusivity must not be merely on paper, as Nigeria is a signatory to international treaties, particularly on those entrenching the rights of women.
She explained that the government had been shying away from implementing even though Nigeria is a signatory to the Beijing Charter.
She recalled that 25 years after Nigeria signed the Beijing Declaration on 35 per cent Affirmative Action on women inclusion in policymaking, election, and appointment, nothing positive has been done in that regard.
Achilefu particularly expressed disappointment that despite the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari, during his campaign, promised to give 40 per cent appointments in his government to women, up till now the percentage of appointments remains abysmal and frustrating.
According to her: “It is commendable for the court to affirm 35 per cent women in participation in politics. When the National Assembly turned it down, women did not ygo to sleep. Different women organization spoke out and sustained the pressure and today the court is on our side.
“I commend the court for not allowing itself to be influenced by politicians. It is myopic to think that women going into politics will occasion infidelity. A man that married a woman that is educated should be able to understand that the woman has gone to school and need to express herself in any chosen career.
“Women are even more suitable in leadership position, because their motherly nature will not allow them to do something that will bring shame to their family.
“A woman that goes into politics has gone to protect even the man because women are naturally born to build”, the FIDA boss said.
On the need to encourage Plateau women to take advantage of the court ruling, Achilefu said FIDA will mobilize sensitization programs in the communities to educate both the rural and educated women on the need to get involved in Politics.
“We will tell them that they can also lead and not to always think that their role in politics is to only vote the men.
“Now that elections are coming, we have lined up of sensitization activities that will aid women who are interested in politics to come out and we shall also be talking to ourselves not to look down on any woman who shows interest in contesting any position”, Achilefu said.