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Women Radio congratulates Buhari, urges improved women’s representation

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Toun Okewale-Sonaiya

CEO of Women Radio 91.7, Toun Okewale-Sonaiya has congratulated President Buhari on emerging victorious in last month’s presidential elections, urging him to appoint more women in key positions and defiminise poverty in the country.

The radio boss decried the fact that though the president is celebrating, women have little to celebrate in the area of women representation in his government and the feminization of poverty in Nigeria.

Writing an open letter to the president, a copy of which she shared with The Guardian, she said, “Amongst other not so impressive statistics in the last four years, you nominated only six women out of 36 ministerial positions. This represents a paltry 16% as against the 31% of women representation in the administration before you. Particularly worthy of note, are the millions of women across ethnic, religious and even class divide who voted for you in 2015 and have done same again. In 2015, 3,667,076 housewives voted in the presidential election, placing next to students (4,480,708) and civil servants (4,628,433). Similarly, housewives rank third on the list of registered voters by group in the 2019 election. That fraction out of women’s vote represent 14.10 per cent of the total registered voters by group, next to farmers/fishers (16.23 per cent) and students (26.57 per cent). This figure does not include the millions of women across the various other groups who make up the total votes from women.”

She went on to add that when she spoke at the Women Political Aspirants Advocacy Summit last year, the president declared support for the 35% affirmative Act policy and several believed him but are now being disappointed. She pleaded with the president to fulfill his promise this year. Urging the president to be intentional and deliberate about being accountable to true democracy by appointing more women, she revealed that Rwandan women make up 64% of the country’s parliament, 50% of its cabinet and 44% of its judiciary.

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