Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, has called on President Bola Tinubu to fulfil the 35 per cent affirmative action promised to women during his presidential campaign.
Ms Tallen, a former deputy governor of Plateau State, appealed at an award night to celebrate outstanding women on Friday in Abuja.
Ms Tallen said from the president’s past records, she was optimistic that Nigerian women would be given their pride of place.
“I have the belief that the president will do more for Nigerian women than was experienced in the past,” the former minister said.
She said women were an integral part of any economy and should be allowed to contribute their quota to nation-building.
“It is important to empower, educate and give Nigerian women the opportunity to explore their potential for the betterment of the nation.
“Rwanda, for instance, where women are over 60 per cent in government, has seen a lot of progress,” she said.
Ms Tallen said with Nigerian women being about 50 per cent or more in terms of population, there was nothing wrong if they were given even beyond 35 per cent.
She called on Nigerians to make it a duty to “lift the hands of a downtrodden woman and put smiles on the faces of the hungry and vulnerable”.
Beatrice Eyong, United Nations Women Representative to Nigeria, said she did not doubt that the president would fulfil his campaign promise to women.
Ms Eyong, representing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the UN, said the present administration should “align with judicial texts and conventions that Nigeria had ratified.”
She said that while Nigerian women had so much potential, it was unfortunate that their efforts were not well recognised.
The women representative said constraints in the form of discriminatory laws and harmful practices that had prevented women from utilising their potential should be removed.