The coalition of women groups in Nigeria, under the aegis of Nigerian Women Movement, is set to challenge the refusal of the successive governments to implement the 35 per cent affirmative action in court.
According to the group, non-inclusion of women in governance has left Nigeria “at the lowest ebb amongst nations demonstrating a meaningful representation of women in governance”.
The Nigerian Women Trust Fund, which is championing the legal process, said the plaintiffs would include a broad range of women groups from the academia, trade unions, professional women, market women, civil society organisations, community-based organisations and men who are gender sensitive.
The exclusion of women in governance, they said, was “due to the absence of the minimum requirement of 35 per cent affirmative action as stipulated in Nigeria’s National Gender Policy (2006)”.
Yusuf Ali (SAN), Femi Falana (SAN), Prof Anselm Odinkalu, Miannaya Essien (SAN), Victoria Awomolo (SAN) and Funke Adekoya (SAN) are among the lawyers they are said to have contacted to pursue the case.
According to the Inter Parliamentary Union (2018), Nigeria occupies the 180th position amongst 193 nations of the world in terms levels of representation of women at the national parliament.