Implement 2022 judgment on affirmative action, women groups urge Tinubu

By Justina Auta

A group, Nigerian Women Trust Fund has urged the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to implement a 2022 judgment on affirmative action when he assumes office.

The group, made up of various women associations in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, urged Tinubu to set up implementation framework for enforcement of the judgment.

They advised him to ensure that all government appointments were in compliance with the National Gender Policy (NGP).

Other associations in the group include Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa), Women Advocacy. Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) and Vision Spring Initiative (VSI).

Others are Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Yiaga Africa Initiative, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and 100 Women Lobby Group.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Federal High Court in Abuja had on April 6, 2022, mandated the implementation of provisions of the National Gender Policy.

The provisions specifically dealt with 35 per cent affirmative action in appointive positions for Nigerian women.

“The court also upheld the equality of the sexes and the constitutional mandate to recognise gender in all appointive positions.

“In effect, it clearly means that Nigerian women are now accorded 35 percent affirmative action as a matter of right in line with democratic ethos.”

They, however, noted the appeal by the Federal Ministry of Justice in contradiction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s acceptance of the judgement through the Minister of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

They urged the Ministry of Justice to withdraw its appeal and allow Nigerian women enjoy the dividends of democracy as equal citizen of Nigeria.

” We use this opportunity to call on the outgoing Nigerian government to put value where value belongs and follow through with the implementation as demanded by the judgment.

“We also demand the immediate implementation of the judgment of the court by the president – elect in all appointive positions in his cabinet.

” We call on him to set up implementation framework for the enforcement of this landmark judgment and we demand for all parastatals, agencies and ministerial appointments to henceforth be in compliance with the National Gender Policy.

” We further demand that the 10th Assembly acknowledge that truly Nigerian women are equal citizens in Nigeria whose rights deserve to be honored by passing all the gender related bills hitherto before the 9th Assembly.”

They said that they would intensify their advocacies for inclusiveness in Nigeria at the national, state and at the local government level, especially after the poor representation of women emerging from the just concluded 2023 general elections. (NAN)