Nigeria’s first female senator in the second republic Senator Franca Afegbua has called on women in the country to rise up against their marginalisation in politics.
Afegbua, who was elected on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1983, said the dwindling fortunes of women in the political arena after 36 years was not acceptable.
Speaking in Benin yesterday at a seminar organised to mark her 75th birthday, Afegbua lamented that only seven women out of the 109 senators are in the ninth National Assembly.
Also speaking, a former presidential liaison officer to the House of Representatives, Mrs. Esther Uduehi, lamented that in 1999, 15 women were in the National Assembly with 12 in the House of Representatives and three senators while it rose to 24 in 2003.
She noted that out of the 89 National Assembly members from the South West, only five are women; the South South with 73 members has three women; while the South East geo-political zone has four out of 58.
On her part, Edo State Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs. Maria Edeko, said Mrs. Afegbua broke cultural barriers 36 years ago by winning against all odds.