ECOWAS Parliament Calls for Implementation of 30% Affirmation for Women in West Africa
Michael Olugbode in Abuja
The Chairperson, Committee on Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Ayamba Laadi Ayii, has appealed to West African presidents to ensure the 30 per cent affirmative action in governance.
Addressing journalists at the sideline of the ongoing delocalised meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs ,Peace and Security and APRM Legal Affairs and Human Rights Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment in Banjul, Gambia with theme: ‘Community Texts Relating to Peace, Security, Democracy and Good Governance: Challenges in their Implementation and the Oversight Role of ECOWAS Parliament’, she said there is urgent need for presidents of members states to set modalities on how to achieve 30 per cent affirmative action plan to allow more women participation in governance across the region.
According to her, presidents in the region should be deliberate about implementation of the policies as women stand a better chance to promote security in the region.
Ayii, who is also a co-Chair at the ongoing delocalised meeting of the joint committee, however, stated that there was gradual improvement of women participation in some countries like Senegal, Benin Republic and Mali.
She also stated some of the impediments to the 30 per cent affirmation process in the ECOWAS region.
“The challenges are in million, the first place the beginning of every girl should be considered because we need to prepare the girl to begin to understand that yes I can do whatsoever the man can do, education is key .
“Also, competence, most women think they are not competent until you go into some activities you will say I am competent enough, you get into it and you will continue to improve by learning.
“Another one is lack of resources. Most of our politics today is the issue of funding and most women are interested in politics but don’t have the money, they may be competent and intelligent but the money is not there.
“At the grassroots level women are involved and they do the singing, dancing, calling organisations to bring out all the women on the ground when it comes to vote and when it comes to picking them or appointment ,they are left at the back and are not the best,” Ayii noted.