The National Council for the Women Societies (NCWS) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the three women who left the federal cabinet before the end of the year.
Members of the council numbering about 50 from across the 36 states and FCT today paid a courtesy visit to the President at the State House Villa, in Abuja.
President of the NCWS, Dr. Gloria Laraba Shoda told the President that the three women should be replaced in line with the 35 percent affirmative action.
She said: “As you also know, Nigeria is yet to fulfil the target of 35 percent of women in decision-making posts in the Executive. We want to use this opportunity to raise this matter as well. If we do not, our women will ask us, why? They are watching as we speak. The three women who vacated their ministerial posts for various reasons have not been replaced.
“This means that there is a deficit in the number of women in your cabinet. Sir, as we appeal to you to please champion the inclusion and participation of more women in your cabinet, public and board appointments, can we also leave here with the hope that these three women ministerial vacancies will be filled before the end of the year? For us, this is the only way that women can participate in governance and have a seat at the table of Executive decision-making in public policy.
“Your Excellency, we are not happy about the way the major political parties treated women in the last primary elections. The major parties charged exorbitant fees for forms and other levies, after which a lot of women were either dropped or asked to withdraw.
“Your Excellency, this is why the 35 percent affirmative action is key for Nigerian women’s political advancement; this is done in many countries. When passed into law and domesticated in all states and all political parties, it will make us very happy with government,” she said.
Daily Trust reports that in 2015, when the President constituted the Federal Executive Council (FEC), six out of the 36 ministers were women. The number has since reduced by half.
Our correspondent reports that the female Ministers at the beginning of this administration were Amina Mohammed (Gombe), Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna), Kemi Adeosun (Ogun), Aisha Abubakar (Sokoto), Aisha Alhassan (Taraba) and Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe).
Mohammed, Adeosun and Alhassan have since left the federal cabinet. They resigned at different times. While Mohammed resigned to take a UN job, Adeosun resigned over NYSC scandal and Alhassan left over her disqualification from the governorship race by the APC.
Responding, the President promised to look into the issue adding that he replaced the women that left with other female members of the cabinet.
He said Adeosun was replaced by Zainab Ahmed and that Aisha Alhassan was replaced by Aisha Abubakar.