• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Kwara governor assents to bill mainstreaming 35% gender inclusion

Kwara gov inaugurates 4.7km road project in Ilorin

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State on Tuesday assented to an executive bill mandating the state to have at least 35 percent women appointees in the state executive council and other classes of political appointments.

The law cited as Political Offices (Gender Composition) Bill 2021, is arguably the first legislation of its kind in the country that places a ceiling below which the government cannot go in the appointment of either gender for public offices.

Speaking in Ilorin at a state government-inspired conference themed ‘Cracking the glass ceiling: the story of Kwara women’, the Governor said it is only fair that women be given a fair space in the decision-making process whose outcomes have far-reaching consequences for them and their families.

The Governor said the recognition and the step to mainstream women in public service were the least the administration could do for the hard-working women as a way of inspiring the girl child.

Read also: Political parties urged to develop policies on women inclusion

“Women are so critical to human civilisation. They are just as brilliant, innovative, and smart as men. They are the largest voting demographic in Nigeria. Yet, they are often absent or unfairly represented when policies and programmes that shape everything concerning them and their families are designed,” he asserted.

“This needs a rethink. In Kwara, we have recently taken unprecedented steps to involve more women in the decision-making process. We appointed 56.25 female cabinet members and about 50% female permanent secretaries. Many key government positions are headed by women. We do not have regrets about making such decisions.

“Nevertheless, the gains we have made in Kwara in mainstreaming gender parity in appointments could easily be reversed by anyone. We have therefore decided to give a legal cover for gender parity in Kwara State, no matter what party is in power. I have therefore assented to the Kwara State Political Offices (Gender Composition) Bill 2021.

“A unique feature of this legislation is that no gender class shall henceforth have below 35% representation in the State Executive Council. This opens a new chapter for an inclusive political system in Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole. It is our bold contribution to the Nigerian political culture.

“We feel strongly that no segment of the society should be absent or underrepresented in the decision-making process. This law could well encourage our major parties to officially mainstream agenda parity their activities.

Kwara Speaker Yakubu Danladi-Salihu led members of the House to the event which was also attended by cabinet members.

Kwara State Traditional Council Chairman and the Emir of Ilorin Dr. Ibrahim Zulu-Gambari led a legion of first-class emirs and Obas to the event that also attracted a global audience such as the United Nations Women Representative to Nigeria/ECOWAS Comfort Lamptey; ambassadors; and others.

The event equally saw the conferment of outstanding awards of excellence on Kwara women who have achieved huge feats in their respective fields: former Chief Judge Raliat Elelu-Habeeb; Sarah Jubril; financial guru and former Lagos Finance Commissioner Foluke Abdulrazaq; Sarah Alade; businesswoman Bola Shagaya; Senator Khairat Gwadabe; first female HOS in Kwara Zarah Omar; former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin Prof Sidikat Ijaya; media veteran Hajia Eyitayo Mairo Mustapha; and the Onila/Agindigbi women who built schools; among many others.