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AbdulRazaq Signs Bill Mainstreaming 35% Gender Inclusion Into Law

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By Mosunmola Ayobami,Kwara
Kwara State on Tuesday set a new record in gender inclusion for Nigeria as Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq assented to an executive bill mandating the state to have at least 35% women appointees in the state executive council and other classes of political appointments.
The law, cited as Political Offices (Gender Composition) Bill 2021, is arguably the first legislation of its kind in the country that places a ceiling below which the government cannot go into the appointment of either gender for public offices.
Speaking in Ilorin at a state government-inspired conference themed ‘Cracking the glass ceiling: the story of Kwara women’, the governor said it is only fair that women be given a fair space in the decision-making process whose outcomes have far-reaching consequences for them and their families.
The event was attended by creme de la creme from Kwara and beyond such as: representative of the wife of the President, Dr. Rukayat Gurin; Kwara First Lady Ambassador Mrs. Olufolake AbdulRazaq; Women Affairs Minister, Dame Pauline Tallen; Ekiti First Lady Mrs. Bisi Fayemi and several governors’ wives; Senators from the three senatorial districts of Kwara and House of Representatives members from the state.
Others are Ilorin born business tycoon, Mrs. Bola Shagaya; former acting Governor of CBN, Sarah Alade; National Missioner, Ansar-u-deen Muslim Society of Nigeria, Dr. AbdulRahman Ahmad; Founder/CEO Sokoa Chair Centre and keynote speaker, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika.
Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly,Yakubu Danladi-Salihu led members of the House to the event which was also attended by cabinet members.
Kwara State Traditional Council Chairman and the Emir of Ilorin Dr. Ibrahim Zulu-Gambari led a legion of first-class emirs and Obas to the event that also attracted global audience such as the United Nations Women Representative to Nigeria/ECOWAS Comfort Lamptey; ambassadors; and others.
The event also saw the conferment of outstanding awards of excellence on Kwara women who have achieved huge feats in their respective fields.
The governor said the recognition and the step to mainstream women in public service were the least the administration could do for the hard working women as a way of inspiring the girl child.
“Women are so critical to human civilisation. They are just as brilliant, innovative, and smart as men. They are the largest voting demographic in Nigeria. Yet, they are often absent or unfairly represented when policies and programmes that shape everything concerning them and their families are designed,” he asserted.
He recalled that many heroic efforts of women have contributed to the growth of the state, saying the conference was organised to single them out for special commendations.
Nigeria’s First Lady who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant on Administration and Women Affairs, Dr. Rukayat Gurin called on all states in Nigeria to emulate AbdulRazaq in promoting the welfare of women for overall development of Nigeria.
She commended Governor AbdulRazaq for giving opportunities to women to thrive.
Kwara’s First Lady, Olufolake AbdulRazaq, for her part, explained that the event is to inspire the average Kwara woman to leverage on the women-friendly initiatives of the state government to chart progressive course for themselves and be active participants in the processes of governance for the development of their immediate communities and the nation.
Dame Paulen said the formation of AbdulRazaq’s women-dominated cabinet is remarkably unique, adding that the event further underlined the governor’s efforts at improving the lot of women in national development.
She lauded the governor’s wife for supporting his husband to cause a meaningful change in the history of the state.
In her keynote address, Founder/CEO Sokoa Chair Centre, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika congratulated the governor for being exceptional and a pacesetter in allowing the girl child to be major part of the political and economic aspect of the state.
“Kwara State is a good example of states that understand the value inherent in women. Kwara has shown that it has women who have gone through many fields and every corner of this state and Nigeria,” she said.
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