- The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has stated that it would take 135 years to bridge the gender gap in Nigeria
- He lamented over the fact that women have been historically marginalized and are still being sidelined in politics as well as the public sector
- He stated that the Gender Equality Bill is still being considered by the legislature and expressed optimism that that there would be positive outcomes if there is an increased participation of women in politics
Dr Olubukola Saraki, president of the Nigerian Senate, has stated that it would take the country 135 years to close the gender gap between men and women; and that it would take 99 years for the gap to be closed, globally, Leadership reports.
He made the comment on Friday, April 13, at the opening ceremony of a 2-day regional conference on ‘Women Political Participation in West and Central Africa: Comparative Perspectives and Experiences Sharing’, organised by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, which took place in Abuja, the nations’ capital.
Saraki was represented by the former deputy governor of Ekiti state, Senator Abiodun Olujimi.
NAIJ.com gathers that the Senate president lamented over the fact that women have been historically marginalized and are still being sidelined in public sector appointments as well as general elective positions. He called for collective efforts to close the gap.
He stated: “All over the world, women have a proven track-record of quality organisational skills and excelling in challenging positions; be it the private sector or public service, because their strength and tenacity in multi-tasking various roles in the family and professional careers give credence to this fact.”
Saraki expressed optimism that that there would be a multiplier effect on development outcomes if there is an increased participation of women in politics.
He pointed out that this increased participation by the female gender would ensure public policies that would improve the economic power of Nigeria and the country generally.
The Senate president noted that underrepresentation of women in lawmaking remains a sticking point, as he disclosed that the Gender Equality Bill is still being considered by the 8th National Assembly.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Senate president Bukola Saraki on Wednesday, April 11, pledged to work with relevant political stakeholders to ensure that a greater number of women are given the opportunity to vie and occupy elective offices during the 2019 general elections.
Saraki, according to a statement sent by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, gave the pledge when the Conference of Nigeria Female Parliamentarians paid him a courtesy visit at the National Assembly.
The Senate president said that there is nothing to fear about having more women occupy political offices saying that such a development can only but help to strengthen the nation's democracy.
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