Members of the Conference of Female Parliamentarians (CONFEPA), in Nigeria, has condemned the decision of some political leaders and Ulamas in Kano State, to drop two female nominees nominated by the State Governor, Abdulahi Ganduje, to be local government council chairpersons.
CONFEPA is made up of elected female members of the 36 State Houses of Assembly.
Chairperson of CONFEPA and Deputy Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ativie, who addressed journalists in Benin on Thursday, said the rejection is be based on religious sentiments, a claim they said was not verifiable.
Ativie was flanked on the high table by the Secretary, Hon. (Princess) Titlayo Akerele from Ekiti State House of Assembly and Hon. Shola Ogbemudaibo from Delta State House of Assembly.
She said the decision to drop the women, (Architect Binta Fatima Yahaya and Hasiya Ismail Mukhtar), negates constitutional and global charters that kick against discrimination against women.
Ativie noted that it was shocking that there were no clear reasons for dropping the two women and that it is a plot to “undermine and subvert the rights of women in Kano State.”
“We wish to state clearly that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is the supreme law of our land guarantees freedom for all, including women to aspire and occupy political positions.
“It should be placed on record that several international treaties and conventions which Nigeria is signatory to and some of which have been domesticated in Nigeria abolish all forms of discrimination against women and guarantee their freedom to aspire and be appointed to any political, social, religious office.
“The reason given by the Kano State political leaders and the Ulamas is that women in Islam do not lead. But this is not verifiable as some other Muslim dominated countries across the world have had female heads of state, Prime Ministers and Presidents.
“Examples of these countries include Pakistan with Benazir Bhutto who was Prime Minister for many years; Bangladesh, Turkey, Senegal, Mali, Northern Cyprus, who all had female Prime Ministers, while Indonesia had Magawati Sukarnopturi as President, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan and Mauritius, all have had female Presidents and these countries are Muslim dominated while in Nigeria, We have had Queen Amina of Zaria who led men to war,” she said.
While commending Governor Abdulahi Ganduje for nominating the women, CONFEPA urged the Kano State House of Assembly to screen the women nominees without further delay.
They also called on the Minister of Women Affairs to intervene on the issue, adding “It should be told that God made them male and female and none was inferior to the other. They were created to work together and complement each other for the benefit of the World.”
Members of Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) and activist members of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), were also present at the press briefing.