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Court rules in favour of affirmative action for Nigerian women

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Nigerian women
Nigerian women

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ruled in favour of the 35 per cent affirmative action in appointments of women into public office.

On Wednesday, Justice Donatus Okorowo delivered a judgment on the matter filed by the Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) against the federal government.

“Formulating policies based on sex, stereotyping, feudal and patriarchal traditions will no longer be tolerated due to the supremacy of constitutional values,” asserted the judge.

The court said the government had an obligation to implement the 35 per cent affirmative action, accusing previous administrations of breaching international treaties on women’s participation in government.

The judge noted that “of all the 44 ministries, there are only about six female genders, and that the situation is worse in other MDAs and agencies,” dismissing the preliminary objection brought by the government’s lawyer, Terhemba Agbe.

The court’s ruling came after protests by women’s groups following legislators’ rejection of gender-related bills during the constitutional review process.

A bill titled ‘Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Special Seat for Women in the National and State Houses of Assembly; and for Related Matters’, failed after 208 members out of 290 present, voted against it in March.

Other bills included citizenship conferring rights to foreign-born husbands of Nigerian women and granting women the right to become indigenes of their husbands’ states.

gazettengr.com

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