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Ondo women demand 35% slot in public offices

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Association of Female Politicians (AFP) in Ondo State has decried acute marginalisation of women in political and other public offices.

The female politicians across all political parties lamented: “Over the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019, Ondo women have continued to witness abysmal representative percentages across the state.”

The chairperson, Janet Adeyemi, said this yesterday at a press conference in Akure to celebrate the June 12 Democracy Day and 20th anniversary of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria.

Adeyemi, who was represented by Mrs. Olawumi Ohwovoriole, disclosed that Ondo and Nigeria, which are signatories to international commitment on gender inclusion, have failed to attain the 35 per cent affirmative action.

“The highest representation ever attained by women in Ondo State was 11 per cent in 2011 with three women elected into the House of Assembly, as against the recommended 35 per cent, which is operative under the law.

“This unacceptable low representation further reduced drastically to 3.8 per cent with just one female representative in the House of Assembly, and none in the National Assembly.

“The same trend is observed in appointments in which few women are allowed the golden opportunity to serve their state and nation relative to the men, despite the tireless political participation of women in Ondo State,” she noted.

Ohwovoriole was the immediate past Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and the second female in the cabinet of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, but resigned to contest Akure North/South House of Representatives seat in the last election. Having lost the primaries, she was not recalled by the governor, when other members who also resigned to contest were recalled.

Mrs. Adeyemi argued that neighbouring states like Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun and Osun had given women opportunities at different times to actively participate in politics as deputy governors, senators and others.

According to her, none of the party structures across the 18 councils of the state has done anything to encourage gender inclusion in its policy.“The tipping point for female politicians in Ondo was the stark reality presented by the just-concluded 2019 election where only one woman made it to the state assembly,” she lamented.


In this article:
Oluwarotimi Akeredolu
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