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INEC To Hold Talks With Legislators Over Affirmative Action

L-R: Former National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, National Commissioner, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, National Commissioners Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu and Prof. Kunle Ajayi unveiling a Photo Book in commemoration of the International Women's Day at the INEC Headquarters, Abuja on 8th March 2024.

Friday 8th March 2024

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu has said that he would implore the National Assembly to introduce affirmative action as part of electoral reforms that would ensure greater representation of women, youths and Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in elective offices on Nigeria.

Speaking at the special event organized by INEC in collaboration with the Electoral Hub to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day in Abuja today, Prof. Yakubu said the Commission was aware of the concerns raised by Nigerian about the low level of gender representation in elective positions nationwide.

He said the Commission shares the concerns and had consistently been urging political parties to redress “the obvious under-representation of women, youths, and PWDs by nominating more of them as candidates for elections.”

He said: “To accelerate progress in this regard, I will go as far as calling on the National Assembly to introduce affirmative action as part of the electoral reforms that will ensure greater representation of women, youths, and Persons with Disability in elective offices nationwide. In the weeks ahead, the Commission will engage with the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters on this and other areas of reform.

Prof. Yakubu noted that the Commission, as an equal opportunity employer, was delighted to join the rest of the world to celebrate the occasion as a practical affirmation of its commitment to deepening gender equality, representation, relevance, empowerment and sense of belonging.

His words: “It is not by coincidence that the two successive Secretaries to the Commission are women. Furthermore, the present Commission deliberately created a whole Department of Gender and Inclusivity in 2021, dedicated to the promotion of inclusive representation in the workplace and the electoral process.

“Today, out of 24 Departments and Directorates at the Commission’s Headquarters, 11 (representing 46%) are headed by women. We also have women serving as Administrative Secretaries in our State offices and Heads of various Departments at State level. There is also no State in Nigeria without women serving as Electoral Officers (EOs) in charge of our Local Government Offices.

“In addition to Departmental and other responsibilities, the Commission has also built and equipped a Crèche for the convenience of staff of all categories who are nursing mothers. By coincidence, the Crèche will be commissioned shortly as part of the activities for this year’s International Women’s Day. Our intention is to extend such facility to our state offices as funds permit.”

L-R: National Commissioners, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, former National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, National Commissioner, Prof. Sani Adam and INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu during the commissioning of a new Creche at the INEC headquarters, Abuja on 8th March 2024, as part of activities to celebrate the International Women’s Day.

The INEC Chairman also commissioned a new Creche, built and fully equipped by the Commission for the convenience of staff of all categories who are nursing mothers.