The report recommends reforming the legislative arm to promote gender equality

Agora Policy

A recent report on non-profit organization Agora Policy recommends the transformation of the legislative arm into a gender-responsive one capable of creating laws that address the causes of inequality in the country.

The report says it will serve as a tool to change the existing social and cultural constructs of inequality.

Gender Equality and Sociopolitical Inclusion: The report states that some countries around the world often use some form of electoral quota as a vehicle to correct the historical marginalization of women and to facilitate inclusion.

  • To this end, the report expressed support for some bills recently submitted to the National Assembly by the Women’s Movement to promote the inclusion of women in politics.
  • One of the bills seeks to amend sections 48, 49 and 91 of the constitution to create more seats for women in national and state legislatures, while the Affirmative Action Bill is aimed at specific amendments in Section 223 of the constitution to ensure that women occupy, at least, 35% of political party administration and teaching positions.
  • Also, the Ministerial and commissioner nomination bill seeks to amend sections 147 and 192 so that at least 35% of the nominees are women.
  • In addition, it recommended that the National Assembly amend Nigeria’s electoral laws to insert gender equality and inclusion clauses. This will force political parties to nominate and support qualified women candidates.

Youth Inclusion in Governance: for the inclusion of youth in federal, state and local governments, the report suggests adequate representation of youth in teaching positions beyond media or youth-oriented roles.

Similarly, it proposes legislative reforms to create a good legal environment for the inclusion of youth in decision-making in the national and state legislatures.

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  • It added that political parties should set aside voluntary quotas for youth (women and men) to contest elections and hold non-youth-related positions in leadership and party organs. ,
  • It also recommends the need to promote youth inclusion through strategic advocacy in key institutions, capacity building and research to use and analyze trends and data on youth inclusion.

Involvement of PWD in Government: People with Disabilities (PWDs) face high levels of discrimination in Nigeria due to the widespread practice of ableism. To improve the inclusion of PWD, the report recommends the following:

  • Address the data gap by ensuring robust disaggregation by the National Bureau of Statistics and other critical stakeholders based on the number of PWDs per location, demographic distribution, type of disabilities and specific needs.
  • Promote the implementation of the Disability Act at all Levels to protect the rights of PWDs and impose penalties on violators, such as fines and imprisonment for people who discriminate against PWDs.
  • A National Revolution to ensure a barrier-free society and eliminate physical barriers in the environment to facilitate a complete overhaul of the current order.
  • Includes voluntary quotas in constitutions to ensure substantive inclusion in activities and nominations as candidates.
  • Implement the 5% employment quota for PWDs included in the Disability Act by the government at all levels and provide tax incentives for private sector organizations to make reasonable arrangements/adjustments to support their inclusion. PWD at work.

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