Rejection of 35% affirmation action bill hinders women participation in governance -Sen. Oduah
Sen. Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra North) says National Assembly’s rejection of the 35 per cent affirmative action bill will hinder women participation in governance.
In an interview with the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, she said the rejection meant denying capable women the right to improve governance in the country.
“When you empower the Nigerian women, you are empowering 60 per cent of the total population of this nation.
“When you deprive them, you deprive 60 per cent and that in turn means that the nation is losing the capacity, the capability of 60 per cent of their total population.
“Not even on the sentiment that when you train a woman or you give a woman opportunity, a whole community is empowered.
“That is different, but in real fact it is denial. Is like cursing your nose to spite your face.
“I think the men know we have capabilities. They know we can do the job far better than they can. It is just a matter of time.
“So, I tell Nigerian women; be patient, we will get there. We are already on it.’’
Oduah, who is Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, commended the Senate for promising to re-visit the issue after its recess.
“I felt very bad but then the people spoke. It was, however, democracy in practice and people spoke based on their conviction.
“People spoke based on their people’s demand. Whenever such votes come, you sit back and do a quick evaluation.
“What went wrong, why it went the way it went and you go back and re-prepare, you go back and re-check what you have done. Maybe you have missed something.
“Maybe you were not as convincing as you ought to be and for this particular one, we were given an opportunity to come back and articulate again the needs of Nigerian women, which is really far above 35 per cent.
“We need equal opportunity. So through Equal Opportunity Bill for women we will be able to give Nigerian women what they truly deserve and not just for Nigerian women it is for the nation,’’ she said.
She urged women not to relent in their effort to ensure that that their education and experience is not wasted. (NAN)