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Bill for 74 Women’s Parliamentary Seats Advances in House of Representatives



Nigeria House of Representatives Plenary

The House of Representatives passed a bill in its second reading on Tuesday to create 74 additional seats exclusively for women in the federal parliament. Sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu and 12 others, the bill seeks to amend Sections 48, 49, 71, and 117 of the 1999 Constitution to allocate one special seat for women in both the Senate and House of Representatives for each state and the Federal Capital Territory.

The proposed legislation is slated to take effect after the current national assembly term ends and would undergo review every 16 years. It also proposes amendments to Section 91 of the constitution to establish three special seats for women in State Houses of Assembly.

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During the debate, co-sponsor Joshua Gana highlighted that the bill aims to rectify the significant under-representation of women in the legislature at both national and sub-national levels. He stressed the importance of equitable representation to empower women in shaping legislative policies and national development.


Citing low statistics of women’s representation in past assemblies, Gana emphasized the urgent need for proactive measures to ensure fairness and inclusivity in governance. He referenced global examples like Rwanda and Andorra, where affirmative action has boosted gender equality in parliament.

Support for the bill came from various quarters, with House spokesman Akin Rotimi acknowledging broad consensus for increased women’s representation in parliament. Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda echoed the sentiment, underscoring the parliament’s responsibility to address gender disparities.

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However, dissenting voices from lawmakers like Ghali Tijani suggested enhancing women’s participation through party mechanisms rather than creating reserved seats. Others, including Olamijuwonlo Alao Akala, Patrick Umoh, and Billy Osawaru, raised concerns about constitutional alignment, noting similar previous bills that did not pass in the 9th assembly.


Okereke Gabriel is a sports reporter and analyst with years of experience in the industry. He is a graduate of Anatomy. He likes surfing the Internet, researching for new things about sports and education.

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