Hon Bamidele Salam
October 11, 2022

Nigeria lawmaker on the ticket of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon Bamidele Salam attending this year’s Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) 145th Assembly in Rwanda Kigali said the Community Parliament’s women empower drive is in with the current ongoing IPU Assembly. According to him for the Parliament to allocate a budget for female empowerment in its 2023 budget is a positive development.

Delegates attending 145th IPU Assembly

He said this in an interview in Kigali on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at the opening of the IPU 145th Assembly meeting on the theme, “Gender equality and gender-sensitive Parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world”. He further pointed out that in developing countries, there is not enough inclusiveness of women in the various parliaments;

“I met my colleagues from the Zambia, female parliamentarians and they were regretting that almost every year this number keeps decreasing, the ration to men and women in parliament”. Unfortunately, Hon Bamidele Salam noted that they have similar situation in Nigeria; so for the ECOWAS to take up that as the challenge, dedicate session and budget to women is in line with the global thinking, attending this conference would accentuate that theme in the ECOWAS Parliament, he added.

Hon Bamidele also pointed out that he supports the idea of getting more women at least ten (10) into the next ECOWAS Parliament as his country prepares for a general elections in February, next year. “I am committed to some legislation that currently came to the Nigerian Parliament; I would say I was one of those who voted in support of those proactive legislations in the parliament even though we did not get the number, it did not pass through but at least I was counted as one of the numbers”.

Ghanaian delegation at 145th IPU meeting

This is one thing that one would gladly do as we go forward, the challenges are diverse and economic, culture, religious issues coming up at the point of elections, so if you do not have enough numbers in the national parliament it would be difficult to put forward enough numbers to the regional parliament. Because one feeds the other, so that is where the challenges come from, so I am hoping with the degree of advocacy going on now in the next cycle of elections in Nigeria, we would have more females in parliament.

“So for us, to enrich the ECOWAS parliament with the Nigeria delegation to have a minimum of ten, like you rightly asked, out of the 35 coming to represent Nigeria in the ECOWAS Parliament”. As to whether sensitization is going on well in Nigeria, he responded in the affirmative, stating that a lot of women and organization and their male counterparts are pushing that agenda and hopes it would yield results in the next cycle of elections.

On his takeaway at the end of the Assembly, he noted that, it would help deepen the engagement at the national parliament and the population on the need to push for women empowerment. “Incidentally, today is the international day of the girl child that raises the tempo of the discussion around this topic, and I hope at the end of the meeting the engagement would get deeper”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com