Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi presents Womanifesto Charter of Demands to presidential candidates ahead of 2023 poll

The Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr Abiola Akioye-Afolabi, has presented the Womanifesto Charter of Demands to the presidential candidates, ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Penpushing reports that legal practitioner and an activist made the presentation during a parley with the presidential candidates organized by Voice of Women (VOW) an initiative of Women Radio 91.7fm and Voice of Women Empowerment Foundation supported by the MacArthur Foundation, held in Abuja.

The renowned human rights fighter described the womannifesto  as a social accountability process, stressing that the charter of demands are very important for women, emphasisng that the presidential candidates would be held accountable to some of these issues

Penpushing further reports that, Akioye-Abiola declared that women are tired of playing the second fiddle, tired of being considered as second class citizens and tired of being seen and not being heard, stressing they(women) want to be on the decision making table

“It (the Charter of Demands) is very important to us and we are going to hold the presidential candidates accountable to some of these issues. Why? It is because as women in Nigeria, we are tired of playing the second fiddle; tired of being considered as second class citizens; tired of being seen and not heard. We want to be on the decision making table,” she said

Penpushing also reports that, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in his own remarks promised to support the making of a new law to guarantee the reservation of a specific percentage of all elective and appointive positions for women and youths

The Presidential candidate  pointed out  that the country is collapsing, stating that he was of the conviction that women can contribute laudably to saving it, recalling  the contributions made by the women in his cabinet towards his success as Anambra Governor, saying they were more productive than the men.

“You mothers are the ones that will suffer more if things go wrong. Me, I believe in women and I believe they can save the country. As Anambra governor, I had a female deputy. My chief of staff was a woman. My commissioners for planning, local government affairs, education, and finance were women, including the State Accountant-General in my tenure was also a woman’, he stated.

“Women were far more productive than the men. Today, I will attribute my success as a governor to those women in my cabinet. They were brave enough to say to me on many occasions ‘No, you can’t do this because children are involved.’

Penpushing reports that the Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu represented by, his running mate, Kashim Shettima,, assured Nigerian women that the Tinubu administration will be friendly to them, if voted into power in 2023.

“The Asiwaju administration will be a government that will be friendly to women. They are the backbone of our society because they constitute over 50% of our total population. If Nigeria will reach its full fullest potential, we must give every person and segment of the population a fair chance to make their best contribution to the well-being and betterment of our nation’, he said.

“The growth of our economy and achievement of our nation and destiny rests on equity and the safeguarding of the fundamental rights and decency in our society. This means ending all forms of divisive biases, including gender discrimination,” Shettima added.

Penpushing further reports that, the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, in her contributions pointed out  that the role of women in the electoral process cannot be overemphasised; cautioning political parties against gender discrimination.

The wife of the Preseident represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs, in the Office of the First Lady, Rukkayat Gurin, said participation of women in the election is relevant

“Our participation in this election is necessary. I encourage every political party to support women and shun electoral violence against them. Nigerian women are competent and have the capability to serve. I want to reaffirm to you that the government of Muhammadu Buhari, is committed to making the 2023 electoral process credible and violence-free,” she added.

Penpushing also reports that, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission,(INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while delivering the keynote speech, explained why achieving success in encouraging gender equity and balance within the political parties had become a herculean task.

“Until there’s an enforceable legislation that is gender responsive in terms of their leadership structure as well as policies and practices, the political parties may be limited to just sustaining engagements, advocacies, moral persuasions and capacity building programmes for female aspirants and candidates”, he said

Penpushing reports that, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, were absent at the Conference and Awards, an  event designed to give all  Presidential candidates or their running mates to explain their plans and commitments to Nigerian women.

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