Pauline Tallen, minister of women affairs, has urged political parties to ensure level playing ground for female politicians.
Speaking when she featured on Good Morning Nigeria, a show on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), on Wednesday, she said the practice of providing free forms for female politicians affects their level of active involvement in politics.
“The starting point is the party amendment of constitution, because if you look at all the political parties, out of 25 or 30 members of national working committee, we have only one woman as the women leader,” she said.
“We are not even interested in giving us free forms, because you give us free forms and then you fiddle us out of the primaries. Allow us buy the form. We will contest, but let us have a fair playing ground.”
Meanwhile, a bill to create additional seats for women in the national assembly, sponsored by Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has passed second reading in the house of representatives.
According to Tallen, passing the bill is imperative in a democratic nation like Nigeria that identifies itself as the giant of Africa, especially considering that some other African countries have taken similar steps in the past.
The minister added that aside from the significant percentage of women in the country, female participation is a major key to national development.
“It is clear that when we have more women in the national assembly, better laws will be passed. Women participation is key to national development because women are mothers, and they know where it pinches the family,” she said.
“For what the members of the national assembly have done so far, we are praying that this bill will pass final reading in the interest of the nation, because it is a big shame for Nigeria, being the father figure in the Africa continent. We call ourselves the giant of Africa and yet we are the least represented both at the national and state levels of assemblies.
“Having this bill passed will make a big difference in the development of our country, because we can see the development going fast in countries where we have more women participation at the helm of leadership and Nigeria should not be an exception.”