Bill To Create 74 Seats For Women In National Assembly Passes Second Reading

A bill aiming to amend the constitution to create additional legislative seats for women in the National and State Assemblies has passed its second reading in the House of Representatives.

Jointly sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Ben Kalu, and 12 other members, the bill was debated on the floor on Tuesday, encountering significant opposition from several members.

The bill proposes the creation of one senatorial seat and one House of Representatives seat in each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This amendment seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in legislative bodies by ensuring dedicated seats for female legislators.

Specifically, the bill aims to amend Sections 48 and 49 of the Constitution. It intends to provide one special seat reserved exclusively for women in both the Senate and the House of Representatives for each state and the FCT. These seats would become effective after the term of the current National Assembly and would be subject to review every 16 years.

The debate on the bill highlights the ongoing discussion about gender representation in Nigerian politics. While it has garnered support, the opposition indicates a challenging path ahead as the bill progresses through the legislative process.

Additionally, the bill seeks to amend Section 91 of the document to provide three special seats reserved exclusively for women in the Houses of Assembly of each state of the federation, which shall be spread across the three senatorial districts of each state.