Women in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have demanded gender equality in the party constitution, structure and participation.
They also called for adoption of direct primary in electing officers of the party and candidates for the party, arguing that the indirect primary option has not reflected the true will of the people.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen made the demands on behalf of female members of the party while addressing newsmen at the National Secretariat, Abuja shortly after she submitted a memorandum to the party’s Constitution Review Committee.
“W The absence of women in the party structure is what bothers women. We are here to demand for the amendment. We are aware last week, the party inaugurated the Committee for the amendment of its constitution. Immediately we heard about the constitution of the Committee, we swing into action. We happened to be the first because we agree that we are the most marginalized. And that is unacceptable for national development.
“We are here to demand for affirmative action. We need more women in the party structure and for all elections. We are demanding that no gender, women or men should occupy more than 60% as against the other. We are demanding for gender equality. We are demanding for full participation and representation of women in the party structure and all elective seats in our dear country Nigeria.”
The Minister, who was flanked by other women, said that until the imbalance is addressed the country may not achieve the desired national development.
She noted that African continent looks up to Nigeria as a model but lamented that the country was lagging in true representation of women in political parties and in elective positions from the national down to ward level.
The Minister also complained of the skewed nature of delegate election which she described as undemocratic and a log on the wheel of progress for women in politics to actualize their political ambition.
“We are saying that delegate election is not democratic. We are demanding for open elections. Option A4. Direct primaries. That is more democratic. That is how you will know the true representative of the people. We are not afraid to contest election. We want a level playing ground. Women don’t have money like the men to buy delegates.”
Tallen led a high-level women delegation to submit a memoranda listing demands for affirmative action to the APC Constitution Review Committee.
The memoranda was received by the Chairman of the APC Constitution Review Committee, Prof. Tahir Mamman SAN
The Minister was accompanied by the United Nations Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey; Chair, House Committee on Electoral Matters, Hon. Aisha Duku; representative of the 100 Women Lobby Group and other Civil Society Organisations.
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