News Agency of Nigeria

The National Council of Women Societies, (NCWS) on Tuesday called on the ninth National Assembly to appoint more women as principal officers and head of committees.

The National president of NCWS, Mrs Gloria Shoda, made the called in a statement in Abuja that women who won seats in the National and states Assembly should be given opportunity to serve in various committee as leaders.

According to her, I am appealing to the ninth national assembly to ensure that women who won seats in the National Assembly, be appointed principal officers and heads of Committees.

“We also appealed to the states assembly to do a similar process.

“This will go a long way to encourage women to put in their best in the service of their father land.

“In the outgoing National Assembly, only one woman was made a principal officer – Senator Biodun Olujimi, Deputy Minority Whip, and later on became Senate Minority Leader.

“In the seventh National Assembly, in 2011, Hon. Mulikat Adeola Akande, was appointed as the Majority Leader.

“So we are agitating that even though we still have a handful of women in both legislative chambers, they should not be relegated to the background in our democratic institutions,’’ she said.

Shoda said that in the current race for leadership positions in the ninth assembly, two names, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha have been put forward for Deputy Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively.

She said very few women have made it as speakers of the house and other leadership positions in the state assembly.

The NCWS president expressed hoped that some of the women would clinch leadership positions in the National Assembly adding that the council want to see an increase in the number of women in leadership positions in the state legislatures.

Shoda also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors in the 36 states to appoint a substantial number of women into their cabinets.

She noted that the out-going Federal Executive Council, in its four year tenure, did not meet up with the expected 35 per cent affirmative action in the appointment of ministers.

Shoda said that most states have up to 20 per cent as commissioners in state executive councils but others had less.

“Nigerian women form half of the country’s estimated population of 200 million. We constitute 49.4 per cent, yet our voices are not heard in comparison to our number in decision-making bodies and governance in our country.

“The NCWS believes that it is time for us to be accorded a much better place in nation-building and participation in government, than where we are currently,’’ she said.

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