Buhari’s Aide Urges For Legislation On Women Inclusion In Political Processes


News Investigators/ Senior Special Assistant to The President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has called for legislation to ensure adequate representation of women in politics.

She said that without legislation that explicitly mandates women’s inclusion in political processes, women’s representation in the country will continue to be minimal.

She spoke during the annual lecture of the Women Studies and Development Centre (WSDC) of the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU), Akungba Akoko on the topic: ‘Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria: Bringing Women into the Equation’.

“On political participation, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action set a global threshold of 30 percent representation of women in any political or decision-making sphere. “However, the global average of women’s representation in parliament is only 22 percent. Here in Nigeria, women make up a mere 3.8 percent representation in parliament at both national and sub-national levels – making it the lowest in Africa. 

“For example, in 2003, only 3.2 percent of women aspired for political offices, but increased to 7.5 percent in 2011 when the country exceeded the 30 percent threshold for women’s participation in politics, as well as 31 percent female appointees at the Federal Executive Council,” she said. 

Orelope-Adefulire noted that the contributions of women to the socio-economic and political development of any modern society are essential and indispensable. 

“In theory and practice, women’s full and effective participation in politics and decision making has been widely recognized as fundamental to achieving sustainable development. “Indeed, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA) provides a blueprint with 12 Critical Areas of Concern for the actualisation of women and girls’ rights. 

“Without the perspective of women at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved. “Women’s political participation and representation results in tangible gains for democracy, including greater responsiveness to citizen needs, increased cooperation across party and ethnic lines, and a more sustainable future,” she added. 

She noted that the role played by women in the response to the COVID 19 pandemic is a notable example that points to the benefit of women’s leadership. 

“Pandemic data has shown women to outperform men on emotional intelligence and tend to be more empathic and rational – qualities that may be valued higher in times of crises,” she said. 

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor, AAU, Professor Olugbenga Ige said full inclusion of women in governance will ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prof. Ige in his welcome address said women play important roles in leadership to the admiration of all throughout history.

He stressed that women must be awakened in the quest for Sustainable Development Goals in contributing their quota to national development.

His words: “Recent trends in global economy, governance and social engagements have underscored the need for women to scale up their level of participation and engagements in institutional and national development. 

“This has become necessary as current realities around us are pointing to the fact that critical issue of development, as it affects all of us, cannot be left in the hands of men alone, therefore, provide such unique platform and direction for all to contribute to societal growth within the global space.” 

He reiterated the AAU’s commitment towards giving women their dues and put them at the forefront of lifting the institution and taking her to the next level in research, knowledge impartation and community development.

He noted that this year’s edition of the annual public lecture of the Women Development Centre is thoughtful and timely.

In her remarks, Director, Women Studies and Development Centre, Professor Adebukola Foluke Osunyikanmi applauded the choice of Mrs Orelope-Adefulire as the Guest Lecturer, saying the inclusiveness of women in driving the SDGs remain imperative. 

Prof. Osunyikanmi continued that the lecture will afford the audience to acquire practical models that will make Nigerian women actively involved in the execution of Sustainable Development Goals.

She said presently at the national and global levels, preponderance of opinions and strategic actions are tailored towards inclusiveness of all hitherto left behind- children, girls, women and people with disabilities. 

“Conscious efforts are being made in the 21st century to ensure girls and women are included in developmental agenda. 

“Decades of agitations, protest and struggles by women around the world have rightly compelled policy-makers to give opportunities to female folks.  

“The objectives of Sustainable Development Goals are to improve the positions and standard of living of people all over the world. 

“Given the considerable population of women, it is obvious that they cannot and should not be excluded from the execution of the SDGs.

“Women must be active, seen and heard in decision-making and implementations. Women have critical roles to play if socio-economic, political and educational goals must be achieved nationally and globally,” She said. 

Prof. Osunyikanmi pointed out that the Adekunle Ajasin University has been actively involved in structured capacity building of human talents. 

“The university gives deserved importance to socio-economic development of the disadvantaged section of our society including girls and women. 

“In this regard, the Women Studies and Development Centre (WSDC) which was established in 2010 explores different models –  interviews, trainings, seminars, and other capacity building approaches to empower girls and women in order to achieve an equitable and better society.

“Short and Executive Courses like Political Marketing, Public Speaking and Confidence building skills are organized for girls and women. The short courses focus on building the entrepreneurial skills in areas such as décor and designs, paint making, photography, cakes and pastries. 

“The Executive Courses are programmed to advance upwardly mobile women for better opportunities and self-development. These include Public Speaking, Social Etiquettes, Political Marketing and Professional Politics,” Osunyikanmi added.


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