CJID congratulates Nigerian women as Court rules on 35% Affirmative Action

The Centre for Journalism, Innovation and Development (CJID), formerly known as Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism commends the federal high court’s judgement ordering the federal government to comply with the 2006 35% affirmative action for women.

The Federal High Court Abuja, on 6th April 2022 delivered judgement in favour of Nigerian women on the litigation process on the 35% Affirmative Action before Justice Donatus Okorowo.

The litigation process which has been on since 2020 came to an end with victory for Nigerian Women. Representing the Nigerian women and other critical stakeholders was a coalition of women groups including Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD- WEST AFRICA), Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Vision Spring Initiatives (VSI), YIAGA, Africa, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA).

Recall that In July 2017, the Senate voted against a proposal to alter the Constitution to provide for 35 per cent affirmative action for women in federal and state cabinets. In Nigeria, the extant National Gender Policy (NGP) recommended 35 per cent affirmative action and sought for a more inclusive representation of women with at least 35% of both elective political and appointive public service positions respectively.

The issue of gender imbalance in Nigeria’s political sphere over the years has generated debate among political actors, stakeholders and others. The CJID believes that eliminating socioeconomic barriers in Nigeria requires giving women the requisite support to succeed in politics. 

Over the years, Nigeria has recorded low participation of women in both elective and appointive positions in political parties. This is despite advocacy made by non-governmental organisations to demand an increase in the level of participation of women in politics in line with the Declaration made at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Sadly, the issue of underrepresentation has continued to linger.

In line with the win recorded today, the CJID hopes that the clear interpretations of the provisions of the Constitution by the judiciary, Nigeria’s political space will reflect inclusive governance and allow for an enabling environment for women in politics. The Media in Gender project of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development joins Women groups to push for greater representation of women in politics and other sectors of society

Osaruonamen Ibizugbe
Project Officer
Media in Gender