Fulfil 35% affirmative action on women in governance -Tallen advises Tinubu

A former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has called on the President to fulfil the 35 per cent affirmative action promised women during his presidential campaign.

She made the appeal on Friday in Abuja at an award night organised by Women of Worth, an organisation set up to celebrate outstanding women.

Tallen, who is also a former deputy governor of Plateau State, said from the President’s past records, she was optimistic that Nigerian women would be given their pride of place in his administration.


She said women were an integral part of any economy and should be allowed to contribute their quota to nation building.

The Roving Pen quoted Tallen as stating, “I have the belief that the President will do more for Nigerian women than was experienced in the past.

“It is important to empower, educate and give Nigerian women the opportunity to explore their potential for the betterment of the nation.

“Rwanda, for instance, where women are over 60 per cent in government, has seen a lot of progress.

“So, I can boldly say the milestone that Rwanda has achieved is because of the contribution of women.”

The former said with Nigerian women being about 50 per cent or more in terms of population, there was nothing wrong if they were given more than 35 per cent slots in government.

She called on Nigerians to make it a point of duty to “lift the hands of a downtrodden woman and put smiles on the faces of the hungry and vulnerable.”

The United Nations Women Representative to Nigeria, Mrs Beatrice Eyong, said she had no doubt that the President would fulfil his campaign promise to women.

Eyong stated, “From some of the things I have read about our President, his past work in Lagos and what he has been saying, he has made it clear that women will be an integral part of his government.

“What I will simply say is that Nigeria does not lack competent, experienced and qualified women. There are qualified Nigerian women in every sector of the economy.”

Eyong, who also represents the Economic Community of West African States at the UN, said the present administration should “align with judicial texts and conventions that Nigeria had ratified.”

“The Maputo Protocol, which was ratified by all heads of state, for instance, recommends a 50/50 ratio and Nigeria cannot say it does not have women to make up 50 per cent,” she added.

On the roles of Nigerian women in the economy, Eyong said they had always contributed to national development.

She said, while Nigerian women had so much potential, it was unfortunate that their efforts were not well recognized.

According to her, Nigerian women have demonstrated at the global stage that they are competent and have expertise in all fields.

“The Head, World Trade Organisation, for instance, is a Nigerian woman, and the number two in the United Nations is also a Nigerian woman and I can count on.

Unfortunately, Nigerian women are not given much opportunity to showcase their potential within their own country,” she said.

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