While the National Assembly is struggling to give a listening ear to bills relating to gender rights earlier tossed into the thrash can, the Rivers State under the watch of Governor Nyesom Wike is taking steps to improve the stake of women in politics.
Until now, the position of elected Vice Chairmen in the 23 Local Government Councils operating in Rivers State has been exclusively reserved for women in politics.
Yesterday night, Rivers stakeholders became the first in the country to take deliberate steps to further widen the scope of women participation.
Going forward, more qualified Rivers women are to be accommodated in the State House of Assembly, Federal House of Representatives and the Senate.
A stakeholders meeting which held in Port Harcourt Wednesday agreed, following a plea made by Governor Nyesom Wike, to give more electoral seats to women in Rivers State, the Port Harcourt Telegraph has learnt.
Local Government Areas which have more than one State or Federal Constituency in Rivers State are to allow women to vie for elective office.
Local Government Areas in Rivers State which have more than two seats in the State House of Assembly include Etche, Khana, Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor among others.
Of the three Senatorial districts allowed by law, the PDP will be expected to field one female Senator henceforth.
Wike who addressed stakeholders at Government House said that the time has come for women to contribute more meaningfully to the political evolution of the State.
He said that women serving at various levels of government have shown immense capacity, saying men now have a unique opportunity to truly demonstrate love and help their wives and sisters that are competent build a career in politics.
We have learnt that women who were part of the meeting broke into instant jubilation as stakeholders agreed to the request by the State Governor to increase the level of women representation.
For weeks, women demanding better citizenship rights and more roles in politics had encamped at the gate of the National Assembly.
They only dispersed after receiving assurances from lawmakers that some of the bills earlier rejected would be considered.
Governor Wike who had earlier criticized the National Assembly for the manner it handled gender related bills laid before it may become Nigeria’s champion for women’s rights.
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