June 12: Implement 35% affirmation, AFP charges govt
By Mary Agidi
Ondo State Association of Female Politicians, AFP, has called for the implementation of the recommended 35% affirmation for women in elective and selective offices in the State.
The female politicians, who were from different political parties operating under AFP made the call during a Press Conference at the NUJ Press Centre in celebration June 12 Democracy Day and the 20th anniversary of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria.
Berating the current indices of female representation in the state, the association call on governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, (SAN) to see women as partners in progress in the state and ensure increase the appointment of credible women into key political offices.
According to them, the recent decline in female representation has led to lack of political interest among women, and created sense of injustice and marginalization.
In her welcome remarks, the state Chairman of the association, Mrs Janet Adeyemi said it becomes imperative to address the situation in the state and in Nigeria as a whole, noting that their intention was to call for a change through Public sensitisation and not a protest.
According to the only female in the state to had been elected as a House of Representative Member, since the inception of democracy till now, no woman has attained the office of the deputy governor and Secretary to the State Government in Ondo state, compared to other states.
Adeyemi who was represented by Mrs Adebunmi Osadahun, noted that the aspiration of the association is that all Political parties in the state must pick a female as deputy governor candidate in the forthcoming 2020 gubernatorial election in the state.
In the Communique of the association which was read by a two-term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, and immediate past Commissioner for Women Affairs in Ondo State, Mrs. Olawumi Ohwovoriole, AFP noted that the highest representation ever attained by women in the state was 11% in 2011, as against the recommended 35% affirmation.
“We conducted a historical scan of the political participation of women in Ondo state and Nigeria at large and observed that over the 20 year period from 1999-2019, Ondo State women have continued to witness abysmal representative percentages in elective offices and legislative arm.
“This unacceptable low representation further reduced, drastically, to 3.8 % with just one female representative presently in the State House of Assembly, and NONE in the Federal House of Assembly and the Senate.
“The same trend is observed in the state allocation of appointments through which persistently few women are allowed the golden opportunity of service to their state and nation relative to the men in spite of the tireless political participation of women in Ondo State.
They further lamented how Party Structures fail to encourage gender inclusion in its polity, noting that at both the state and local government level, no woman has ever been made the party chairman.
They however enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to follow the trend of other African Nations who have entrenched women leadership as a way of governance.
“Currently, Ondo state ranks high among the states where very few women have participated in the management of Nigerian public institutions such as Political Parties, Legislative Assemblies and Executive Councils, which are depicted as “male clubs”.
“Across the world, the global trend reflects a close connection between female participation in governance and national development. This is observable in African countries such as Rwanda and Ethiopia”, the communiqué reads.
The Press conference was led by notable female politicians across the state, among whom were Lady Yemi Mahmud, Erelu Modupe Martins, Chief (Mrs) Olamide Falana, among others.