The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint more women into his cabinet to get the votes of women in 2019 presidential election.
Their request was made when the paid a courtesy call on the President at the presidential villa, Abuja on Thursday.
President of NCWS, Dr Gloria Shoda, who led the women, advised the president to fill three vacant ministerial positions in his cabinet with women before the end of 2018.
She said: “Nigeria is yet to fulfil the target of 35 per cent of women in decision-making posts in the executive. The three women who vacated their ministerial posts for various reasons have not been replaced.
“You know we are the foot soldiers and as women, we come out to vote. If you do this for us, we will gladly come out en-mass to vote for you,” she stressed.
She added: “We appeal to you to please champion the inclusion and participation of more women in your cabinet, public office and board appointments, can we also leave here with the hope that these three (3) ministerial vacancies will be filled before the end of this year,”.
She expressed the Society’s displeasure over the manner major political parties treated them during the last primary elections held across the country.
“The major parties charged exorbitant fees for forms and other levies after which a lot of women were either dropped or asked to withdraw. This is why the 35 per cent affirmative action is key for Nigerian women political advancement, this is done in other countries,” she added.
Shoda stressed the need for the federal government to make a law that will domesticate the implementation of the affirmative action in the 36 states of the federation.
The NCWS President lamented that women in Nigeria continue to face safety challenges with issues of rape, assault and indiscriminate killings not being properly handled by security agencies.
She further stated: “One of the most painful areas I want to highlight today, is the rate of s3xual violence and abuse in our communities, schools, streets, homes and public transport and even the IDPs.
“There is hardly a day that we do not read about s3xual molestation, rape, assault and killings perpetrated against girls and women.”
In his remarks, President Buhari, in a light manner. told the group: “I hope this is not a threat. Since the threat is clear and is coming at election time, maybe, I will appoint more women as SAs.”
The President added that the demand for 35 per cent affirmative action is coming at a time when campaigns for the 2019 general elections are about to start.
He informed the NCWS that he has since filled the vacant positions created as a result of the exit of three women with other women in the current cabinet.
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