The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, says the 10th National Assembly is determined to promote gender equity.
He stated this on Wednesday during the International Conference on Women in Governance organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Abuja.
The Senate President highlighted gender stereotypes and biases as well as the absence of modelling as some of the factors that have hindered the low turnout of women in governance.
He further stated that he desired to see more women in governance but that it was easier to promote more women in appointive positions than elective positions.
Akpabio said that women should engage more in campaigns of gender equity values and charged the Director General of NILDS and other critical stakeholders to develop women-friendly policies to drive gender equity in governance.
Also speaking during the conference in Abuja, the NILDS DG, Abubakar Sulaiman, said since 1999, women’s representation in governance has not exceeded 10 percent and expressed displeasure over the declining rate.
He also described the statistics of women in the national assembly as worrisome while stating that only three percent of women are in the Senate and four percent in the House of Representatives.
Sulaiman, however, committed to deepening democratic culture and promoting gender-sensitive legislation in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, in her speech, charged the leadership of the National Assembly to set the tone for gender equality legislation.
She appealed that the affirmative and gender quota bills whose passage failed in the Ninth National Assembly should be reviewed and considered for passage.
Also at the event were Deputy Senate President, Barau Jubrin; the wife of the former governor of Ekiti State, Bisi Fayemi; and women parliamentarians from Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, among others.