ECOWAS Speaker queries low representation of women in parliament, wants advocacy campaign to be organised across the sub-region to have a minimum of 30 per cent quota for women
Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Hon. Mohammed Sidie Tunis, has expressed his disappointment over the low representation of women in parliament despite having a huge population as against the other countries that make up the region.
In an interview with the ECOWAS Parliament Press Corps in Freetown, Sierra Leone, at the end of the two-day symposium on women’s proportional representation in politics, organised by the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA), Tunis expressed his plans to continue engaging the leadership of Nigeria on change the status quo.
“I am hoping to engage the next Speaker in the Nigerian National Assembly and the President of the Senate to encourage them to have more women in the ECOWAS Parliament. We also want to have a special programme just for Nigeria to encourage the stakeholders and the political leadership to ensure that they have more women on their tickets, not just for the National Assembly but even for Local Governments,” he noted.
The Speaker said the Community Parliament has a whole-year Programme, and the symposium in Sierra Leone is just the beginning of many to follow to popularise the idea of 30 per cent affirmative action for women. He believes the advocacy campaign in Freetown can be organised across the sub-region to have a minimum of 30 per cent quota for women.
“We are also going to have another program [a TownHall Meeting] in Abuja before the next Ordinary Session, where we are even inviting MPs from Rwanda to come and share their experiences with us [Ecowas Parliament]. We will also have workshops in Member States to ensure that we do not just pass laws, but to see action,” he said.
It can be recalled that in 2022, through a conversation between the Speaker and the ECOWAS Commission, the Parliament was able to secure funding for ECOFEPA’s activities.