by Francis Etuko, Abuja.
An All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator, Binta Mashi, is calling on the government run by her party to bring more women into the mainstream of the body polity. She is calling on government to implement the 35 percent affirmative action for women representation.
She spoke on a motion to mark the International Women’s Day Wednesday as President of the Senate emphasized that the importance of women in the Socio-economic development of the country cannot be underplayed.
In a statement signed by Saraiki’s Special Assistant on Gender Advocacy, Fatima Mohammed Kakuri, he celebrates the 2017 theme of international Women’s day, which is ‘‘Be bold for Change’’.
His words “We must appreciate the fact that 49.6% of our mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters own or manage 48% of the informal micro-businesses in Nigeria,” he said, “Such numbers are truly significant because they demonstrate that Nigerian women contribute immensely to our social, economic, and political development.”
Saraki also said: “In everything that we do, we need to be bold for change and work towards the redefinition of opportunities for future generations of women. We need to challenge bias and inequality by standing up when women are excluded from positions of leadership. However, all of this can only be achieved through synergy of effort between men and women.”
However, during the debate on a motion moved by Senator Binta Mashi on the floor of the Senate called for the implementation of the 35 percent affirmative action for women representation in government.
Her motion was supported by other lawmakers including the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio
Akpabio in his contribution said women empowerment is key to the country’s development.
‘‘The empowerment of women is dear to me because I have four daughters who are very dear to me. Women have proven to be better managers, that’s why today, if you go to Liberia, Malawi and the United Kingdom women have taken over’’
‘‘The first teacher a child has is the mother, so if we develop and empower the girl child you empower the nation’’
Senator Stella Oduah in her contribution called on women in Nigeria to stand up for their right.
‘‘Women should be celebrated everyday of our lives, I am calling on Nigerian women to stand up and say to the men enough is enough, women have come of age and we need to take what rightfully belongs to us’’
‘‘If you look at election in Nigeria, 70 percent of electoral outputs belong to women and it is only women that stay back to ensure the votes are counted’’
Senator Fatima Raji Rasaki, stressed the importance of mothers to every family in the society.
‘‘A home without a mother is like a generator without fuel, Mothers are the biological source of life, the most precious gift to every human family’’
“For change to become imperative we must accord women the honor they deserve, Women’s’ legal rights which were never equal to men are being eroded daily across the world’’
Speaking at the end of the motion, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over Wednesdays plenary congratulated women in Nigeria for daily breaking new grounds
He said, in Nigeria women have taken over key sectors like the judiciary, teaching and even aviation stressing that certain limitations set against limiting the women folk should be x-rayed.
The Senate was however unanimous as it upheld the prayers calling on the Senate committee on Women Affairs to work on the bill seeking to implement actions on violence against women.