A non-governmental organisation, the Association of Virtuous Women in Pilgrimage and Tourism of Nigeria (AVWOPAT), has called on the Federal Government to increase the affirmative action for women to 50 per cent.

This was even as the group accused the Federal Government of sidelining women from the key offices.

Founder of AVWOPAT, Dr. Chy Schwimmer, made the appeal at its meeting recently, in Abuja, explained that, “35% is not close to the population rate. That is what we are looking at.

“We want the government to give women an enabling environment to thrive economically. The economic status of women is below average.

“The woman has to be empowered financially. The government should make it easier for women to go into entrepreneurship by having access to loans.”

Schiwimmer appealed to the, “Government to appoint women because we have them with talents believing that if they have those positions they will be able to bring out what is in them. But when you leave them to struggle with the men then it is unfair.

“The man has already been elevated. So, he will keep trampling on the woman in order to maintain his status.

“To curb this trend there has to be a conscious efforts by giving women 50 per cent of something very close to 50 per cent on affirmative action by the government,” she said.

Meanwhile, she also claimed that AVWOPAT was the first to initiate the idea of erecting holy sites in Nigeria.

“When we went on pilgrimage abroad, we initiated the idea of developing holy sites in Nigeria which has not been in existence before we visited the vice president through the executive director of pilgrimage board.

“So, we informed him that one of our activities is to focus on developing holy sites in Nigeria to attract other countries to Nigeria just like we go to Israel for pilgrimage and Saudi Arabia,” she said.

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