Jane Doe
Wed, Sep 13, 2023 7:40 AM

Nigeria Urged to Introduce Quotas for Women and PWDs in Political Positions

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Nigeria Urged to Introduce Quotas for Women and PWDs in Political Positions
The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has called on the National Assembly in Nigeria to introduce affirmative action bills that will create quotas for women, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in political positions. A report released by WFD highlighted the need for both incentives and sanctions to promote political inclusion. The report also stressed the importance of reviewing existing legislation to reduce the exorbitant costs associated with running for elective positions. The recommendation comes as a response to the major factors driving political exclusion in Nigeria, which include the monetization of the electoral process and lack of willingness by political parties to comply with inclusive practices.

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has urged the National Assembly in Nigeria to introduce affirmative action bills that will create quotas for women, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in political positions. The call comes as part of WFD's efforts to enhance political inclusion and promote equal representation in democratic processes.

A study conducted by WFD titled "A Study of Inclusive Practices of Nigeria's Political Parties (2023)" stresses the need for legislative action to ensure adequate representation of underrepresented groups. The report recommends the use of both incentives and sanctions to enforce political inclusion, pushing for the implementation of quotas at all levels of political parties.

The study highlights the monetization of the electoral process and lack of willingness by political parties to comply with inclusive practices as major factors driving political exclusion in Nigeria. It points out that political parties often fail to implement their own constitutional provisions and manifestos that aim to promote the political participation of women, young people, and PWDs.

Efforts to introduce similar bills in the previous Assembly were met with resistance, leading to protests by women's groups at the National Assembly. However, the WFD report emphasizes the importance of continued advocacy and the review of existing legislation to enhance inclusivity.

The report also raises concerns about the declining representation of women, young people, and PWDs in governance in Nigeria. Currently, women represent only 6.7% of elective and appointive positions, well below the global and regional averages. The report emphasizes that democracy cannot thrive when half of the population is excluded from decision-making processes.

The call for quotas has gained support from various stakeholders, including the political counsellor to the British High Commission, Tom Burge. Burge highlighted the evidence from sub-Saharan African countries and around the world, supporting the introduction of gender quotas to enhance women's political participation. He noted that 130 countries globally have some form of quota system in place to promote women's representation.

Addressing the conference, the country director of WFD, Adebowale Olorunmola, condemned the exclusion of underrepresented groups from political offices and urged political parties to adhere to the constitutional provisions promoting inclusivity. Olorunmola also expressed WFD's commitment to working with political parties and other stakeholders to address the declining representation of women, young people, and PWDs.

The conference, attended by representatives of various political parties and members of civil society, provided a platform for dialogue on the importance of political inclusion and the need for legislation to ensure equal representation in Nigeria.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-13 News

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