The wife of the Ondo State Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu says she is hopeful of victory in the struggle for balance of male-female representation in all facets of governance and career.
Speaking at the Access Bank’s International Women’s Day conference on Thursday in Lagos, the first lady submitted that though the pursuit for equity has been tedious, success was achievable.
She noted the efforts to improve the welfare of women in the country including getting the National Assembly to pass Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill and other bills, adding that the results of the last National Assembly polls were a drawback to the struggle.
Mrs. Akeredolu described as inauspicious a situation whereby only 15 women got elected into the National Assembly while men won 408 seats out of the 423 seats so far declared in the 469 bicameral legislature.
She said; “In spite of the vigorous efforts to improve on the status of Nigerian women, including getting the National Assembly to pass Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill alongside other bills that will help affirmative action, the result from the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly polls portray another drawback.
“Of the 423 legislative seats declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, (with outstanding 46 other constituencies as at February 25) women got 15, which represents 3.5%, while the men got a total of 408 seats, which represents 96.5% of the 423 seats.
“This is inauspicious and it shows quite a distance from eureka, yet something has to be done, and urgently too, to make certain that women are not permanently silenced”.
The first lady urged women not to give up in the struggle for gender equity in all spheres because women are needed on decision-making tables to protect the interest of women.
Mrs. Akeredolu also bemoaned the violence that characterized the general elections but urged women not to be deterred by it.
According to her, women could conquer and record more achievements through devising long and short-term plans that would liberate women from perpetual subjugation.