Women in PDP Unveil Thematic Resolutions For the Implementation of 35% Affirmative Action Quotas ….Demands Reservation of Seats and Winning as the most viable implementation strategies
By Myke Agunwa
The women wing of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the reservation of certain specific executive party positions at all levels for women, reservation of one of the two Deputy National Chairmanship position for women in line with the 35 percent affirmative action for gender inclusion in party leadership and processes as provided in the party constitution of 2017 (As Amended).
Women of the leading opposition party made the resolution at the end of their 2-day strategic consultative workshop with PDP zonal, state woman leaders and female stakeholders at the party’s National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja.
The event which was organized by the office of the National Woman Leader of the PDP, in collaboration with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was to review the level of women’s participation in party processes and to agree on the most effective path way for the implementation of the 35% affirmative action quota approved for PDP women at the party’s 88th NEC meeting.
The workshops provided a platform for interaction between PDP National Woman Leader, women party leaders and female stakeholders who used the opportunity to identify inclusion gaps in the party’s constitution and develop recommendations to enhance women’s participation and structured inclusion in party processes and leadership positions.
The women who came in their numbers, reached an 8-point resolution on the strategies to be deployed by PDP women to get the party back to its winning ways.
Some of their resolutions include, “The need to develop mechanism for the implementation of the 35 percent affirmative action for gender inclusion in party leadership and processes as provided in the party constitution of 2017 (As Amended)
“The adoption of winning principle in the party constitution to ensure that at least women are elected as deputies in all party offices to which men are elected in substantive positions at all levels
“The reservation of certain specific executive party positions at all levels for women.
“The reservation of one of the two Deputy National Chairmanship position for women
“The inclusion of a clause in the party constitution that will invalidate the conduct of any party elections that does not adhere to the provisions of the constitution including the 35 percent representation of women
“The reactivation of the Directorate for Women Affairs in the party to be responsible for effective mobilization of party women to participate in activities of the party with regards to training, research & documentation, development of policies and programs for Women party leaders. This office should be remodeled to serve as the data hub of the women’s directorate and as a liaison with identified partners and stakeholders to support the implementation of activities for women and the political development of women in the party
“The setting up of a national and six zonal advocacy committees that will lobby identified national party leaders and mobilize women to join and participate in party processes. The zonal committees will be responsible for sensitization and mobilization of women delegates ahead of the 2022 National Convention to ensure the adoption of changes to internal party documents (constitution, manifestoes and election guidelines) that will improve women’s participation in politics and party processes
“That the National Women Leader as the Leader and representative of PDP women will present the recommendations of the women strategy consultative meeting to the National Working Committee (NWC) and other national organs of the party
“The need for women to mobilize and support themselves to participate in party activities in the lead up to the 2023 elections to enhance their chances of becoming party delegates and party candidates to improve the election of women in elective positions come 2023 general elections
“The need for the creation of a mentorship scheme within the party, to encourage the participation of young women in party and election processes”.
They pointed out that the nature of women’s involvement in the political process has remained constant over time. They stressed that a cursory look at clauses in party constitutions relating to boards of trustees, party caucuses and congresses, which are powerful organs in the party, showed that few women are included at that level and quotas apportioned to women are very miniscule.
They affirmed that PDP in some sections of their action plans had deliberately affirmed quotas for women. They said that while the provisions are commendable, they lamented that there are no adequate machinery to support gender parity in the party system.
Present at the event were the PDP National Woman Leader, PDP Deputy National Woman Leader, PDP Zonal and state woman leaders as well as some female stakeholders comprising of PDP Board of Trustee members, Female NEC members, members of PDP Ex-officio, female PDP members in the National Assembly, former Ministers of Women Affairs and PDP Female Youth.