History has been made as a coalition of women-friendly Non-Governmental Organizations led by Ebere Ifendu’s Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) has secured a landmark judgment of the Federal High Court reserving for Nigerian women, 35% of all appointable political and public appointments and positions for Nigerian Women. This is in furtherance of the 35% affirmative action pursuant to Nigeria’s National Gender Policy.
This is a major victory for Nigerian women as it had been thought to be an impossibility given the manifest hostility of government in the past and the recent position of the National Assembly against Nigerian women which was reflected in the manner they threw away 3 Constitutional amendments bills that sought to promote gender equality for women in Nigeria.
The judgment delivered by His Lordship, Justice Donatus Okorowo on 6th April 2022 attests to the power of the law courts to cause social development in the realities of modern life where both the executive and legislature fail to see reality and do the needful.
In a statement by Esther Alaribe of Women Radio, Nigerian women have suffered marginalization in the Nigerian Political Space. As a result, they proceeded with a litigation process to clearly state and reiterate the anti-discriminatory provisions of the Nigerian constitution and Gender Equality in Nigeria as enshrined in the Constitution.
The Nigerian Women were represented by Nigerian Women were represented in court by Marshal Abubakar of Falana and Falana Chambers, were made up of a coalition of women groups including the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD- WEST AFRICA), Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Vision Spring Initiatives (VSI), YIAGA Africa, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and 100 Women lobby group.)
With this latest judgement on the 35% affirmative principle in favour of Nigerian women, the Nigerian political terrain will never remain the same again as Nigerian women who have been severally urged to either float political parties or take over existing ones, will now become more resolute in participating in Nigerian politics in the hope of not only to provide less corrupt governance but to ensure a paradigm shift in applying resources of the Nigerian state to meet the needs of the citizens, especially the deprived and vulnerable class largely made up of women and children.