14 November 2012

Nigeria: Ekiti Women Fault Resolution On Constitution Review

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Ado-Ekiti — Women leaders in Ekiti State yesterday rejected some "highly objectionable" outcome of the public hearing on the proposed constitution amendment to the Nigerian 1999 Constitution held in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital and Ilawe-Ekiti, last Saturday.

The women, under the aegis of Ekiti Women Stakeholders Forum, demanded the insertion of 35 per cent representation of women at levels of government in the proposed new constitution.

In a statement by the President of the Ekiti state chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Mrs. Rita Ilevbare and her National Council of Women's Societies counterpart, Mrs. Nike Obatayo, the women described the position of the people at the hearing as "hastily arranged" adding that it was not a fair representation of the views of the majority of the citizens of Ekiti State.

The statement added" "The Ekiti Women Stakeholders Forum, on behalf of the vast majority of Ekiti women, totally dissociate ourselves from the purported outcomes of the November 10th 2012 meeting, which took place in Ekiti.

"At the November 10th meeting, it was alleged that representatives of various interests groups from Ekiti State voted against the inclusion of representation of women in decision-making in the new constitution.We unanimously and unequivocally seek provision for a minimum of 35 per cent representation of women at all levels in the proposed new Constitution. We strongly believe that the demands for women to have a voice in decision-making at all levels need to be taken seriously. It is impossible for any community or country to achieve development without the full and equal participation of women."

The forum said it was disappointed in the process, timing and "dismal" mobilization strategies used to convene the public hearing, as well as the lack of inclusion and qualitative engagement as experienced by the handful of women who participated in the process allegedly dominated by men.

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