Women of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Wednesday stormed the party national secretariat in Abuja and demanded that the party demonstrate political will, commitment to gender equality, women empowerment and improve women’s participation in politics and decision making processes.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen who led a high-level women delegation to submit memoranda to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Constitution Review Committee said the expectation is to improve women’s participation towards entrenching gender balance in the APC party constitution
However, the Chairman of the APC Constitution Review Committee, Prof. Tahir Mamman, SAN received the memoranda from the women delegation at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
Dame Pauline Tallen 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.
They demanded a legislative change that includes; legal and administrative reforms to improve women’s participation as well as the creation of public awareness on existing legislation and programmes aimed at realizing gender equality and women empowerment in the party
They also demand the establishment of a system of gender mainstreaming that incorporates the policy of40% of women representation in party organs
And to show commitment to non-discrimination against and persons with disabilities in the party
According to the women, “To institutionalize justice and fairness for men and women within the party and its framework
“Creating an organ within the party to monitor and evaluate the implications of party policy and practice for both men and women
“Strengthening the office of the Women Leader to serve as the focal point for the implementation of gender issues within the party.
“Adequate and guaranteed access to funding, human and technical resources to carry out the responsibilities of the office
“ Devoting at least 15% of the party’s annual budget of the party to the delivery of increased participation of women
“To take conscious action in party structures and elections so as to ensure that no gender constitutes more than 60% from the ward to the national level
“Ensure that no gender constitutes more than 60% of delegates and candidates in the final list after primaries
“To institute accountability mechanisms and frameworks in the principal documents i.e. party constitution, party manifesto, party leadership and strategies on the implementation of the National Gender Policy and the use of gender-disaggregated data for planning
“To ensure transparency in the nomination, appointment and election of party officials in other to ensure that there is at least 40% representation of women in the party executive and other decision-making structures
“To enact a Gender Equity Act and a Party Act specifying that no gender should make up more than 60% of party structures and decision-making bodies
“That the party provides adequate training and other support for female members at all levels
“That party representative in the National Assembly support and facilitate electoral reforms to create a the level-playing field for women’s effective participation in elective politics and governance in general
“That a party constitutional provision be instituted to provide for a right to initiate the recall of elected members involved in criminal activities, violence against women and girls or promoting discriminatory practices against women
“That the party should work with civil society organizations to support, fund and encourage mentorship between women in political positions and young female politicians
However, in the quest to improve women’s participation towards entrenching gender balance in the APC party constitution, Nigerian women urged the party to demonstrate political will and commitment to gender equality and women empowerment.