Global Resources

Nigeria: Buhari, female ministers and 35 percent affirmative action

Author: Itunu Ajayi
Publisher: PeaceWomen: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Publication Date: Jan 2015

When President Buhari released his initial list of ministerial appointees, only three of the twenty nominees were women. Still, many held out hope, or at least, reserved judgement, until the second batch of names were released. Such hopes were nevertheless soon dashed when, in the final tally that included the second list, only seven women were named. A coalition of women under the aegis of the 100 Women lobby group expressed their dissatisfaction at the situation, voicing the potential for women to vote elsewhere in future should Buhari fail to close the gender gap.

This document published by PeaceWomen concisely summarises the disappointment felt by many women at the lack of representation in the current administration, and relays their call for an adherence to the 35% affirmative action in elective positions, as enshrined in the National Gender Policy of 2006. It notes that this is also necessary with respect to Nigeria’s commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular goal 5 on achieving gender equality. In regard to women's representation in politics, countries such as Rwanda and Senegal are significantly ahead of Nigeria, and even in Pakistan, where women are significantly erased from public life, there is over three times as much representation for women in government.