Following his failure to accomplish 35% affirmative action, gender campaigners and women’s organizations criticized Bola Tinubu’s cabinet list.
Seven women were on Mr. Tinubu’s first list of 28, or 25%, of the people he sent to the Senate for approval.
Only two women made the list of 19 in his second list, which was submitted on August 2. Nine women make up Mr. Tinubu’s 47-member cabinet, bringing the percentage of women in ministerial positions down to 19.15 percent.
This contradicts his pledge, made in his platform and the 2006 National Gender Policy, to allocate 35% of public offices to women.
Women’s organizations and gender advocates who spoke with Premium Times in response to this development voiced displeasure with Tinubu.
A proponent of gender equality and the Executive Director of Invictus Africa, Bukky Shonibare, observed that Nigerian women were anticipating the fulfillment of the 35% affirmative after it had not been achieved in other government jobs.
“We were initially disappointed that women were not recommended for or named as principal officers,” she remarked. In the state houses of assembly, there are 57 women out of 993 lawmakers. In the Senate, only 3.8% of the 109 Senators are female, while in the House of Representatives, 17.8% of the 360 members are female.
Therefore, we were looking for ministerial positions in the hopes that the government would be able to fill the vacuum. But once more, it fell short of both the national gender policy and the 35% he had promised. From his list of 47 ministers, we had no less than 16 women in mind, but we only have nine.
As a result of the names on the ministerial list being “recycled former governors who cannot serve anybody any good,” Womanifesto co-founder Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi characterized Tinubu’s decision as a “deliberate attempt to promote patriarchal character in governance.”
“If Tinubu has made pledges regarding some affirmation of what he would do during his campaign, some women and men may have voted for him for that reason, but when he is required to fulfill his promise, the failure to do so is a credibility and integrity issue for him,” she said. It demonstrates that Bola Tinubu is untrustworthy, unlikely to be accepting, and unable to address the needs of the populace.
According to Chioma Agwuegbo, Executive Director of TechHer, “punishing politicians and giving political parties their score cards at the polls” will bring about change in Nigeria’s politics, governance, and inclusion of women.
“19% out of 47 ministers for a government that made a lot of comments about affirmative action, the inclusion of women in government, and how they were going to do better is very poor, but it is also representative of the fact that politicians will say whatever they need to say to get into office and then do what they originally want to do because there are no consequences once they are in office,” the speaker said.
But she asked gender equality activists and women’s groups to start over and reevaluate the current situation.
She said the new members of the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly should be engaged in order to reach an understanding with them that will hopefully advance our cause. “We need to start to ask ourselves questions about what has contributed to the decline and see if there is anything we need to do differently,” she said.
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