The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that women were properly represented in the appointment of principal officers in his administration.
Mrs Olufunke Baruwa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the fund, made the appeal in an interview with our correspondent
Baruwa noted that irrespective of the appointments made so far by the President which had barely represented women, it was very necessary that women speak up earlier.
“Some people will say it is too early to start complaining, but I would say that it is better to raise your voice before the appointments are made than waiting for the appointments to be made then you start complaining.
“By then you won’t ask them to sack all the men to make spaces for the women. I think women are not necessarily complaining, we are just voicing our opinion.
“We are trying to influence the Federal Government’s decision before they make the decision and ensure that there is gender parity in the selection of principal officers,” Baruwa said.
The officer said that gender parity was very important and one of the ways to ensure that was to begin to advocate for it early before the appointments were made.
According to her, the appointments made so far are very subjective and whoever appointed as minister or head of department is at the discretion of the president.
“Women are appealing to the discretion of the President and APC as a party to look inwards because there are women in the APC, there are women who fought and contributed for the election of the President.
“Statistics showed that 2/3 of the electoral winning votes are women and that is about 70 per cent which is a lot.
Then if women make up that number of winning vote, I think it is only fair that women also make up the number f appointments.
“Even if we don’t get the 50-50 equity which is what we are hoping for in 2020 as stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“But we are hoping at least to meet up the minimum 35 per cent affirmative action stipulated in the National Gender Policy,” she said.
On if women would be barely appointed by the President Buhari administration, Baruwa said it would be a way of disenfranchising women and Nigerians at large.
She stated that the country had gone beyond side lining “half of its team” and apportioning most positions to men.
“If women are not recognised in the appointments of the President, that will not be fair to the sacrifices that women have made for the election of the President.
“Women are still making sacrifices for the entrenchment of democracy in our country,” said the CEO.
However, she expressed optimism that the country would not accelerate to the level where a section of its population would be regarded as redundant.